Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Coyote Places the Stars

Thank you Courtney Hertzenberg.

Peck, H. (1993). Coyote places the stars. New York, NY: Bradbury Press.

This traditional (and also multicultural) story is a retelling of a legend told by the Wasco Indian tribe about how the coyote arranged the stars in the sky.  The folk story is retold and illustrated by Harriet Peck Taylor.  I chose this book first because it is about a Native American legend, I have enjoyed stories of Native Americans since the time I brought home the library book, Knots on a Counting Rope in second grade.  My dad told me that my great grandmother was Cherokee, which made me interested in books about Native Americans! It's also fun to include these around Thanksgiving when discussing Pilgrims and Native Americans! I found this book from the RIF Multicultural Booklist 2011-2012.

The story begins with the coyote and the bear, the coyote tells the bear that he can can climb to the heavens.  He begins by shooting an arrow through the moon and shooting more arrows to attach to each other creating a ladder! He climbs the ladder and makes it to the heavens!  Coyote gets another clever idea that he can rearrange the stars! He starts shooting the stars with his arrows moving the stars across the sky, he decided to make animal pictures for the world to see! Throughout the story, Peck uses onomatopoeia or sound words to show a certain sound.  For example, arrows go "Whi-rr" and "Whizz" through the sky, and the coyote howls "Oweowowoooah".  The author also gives the animals the ability to talk, a human characteristic which is an example of personification.

The illustrations in this book really made me interested! In the back of the book, Peck explains that the pictures were created by the artist painting with dyes on fabric in between wax-resist outlines which is called the batik method.  Fun Idea! -You could recreate this type of art in your classroom using gel glue in place of the wax-resist, wash the gel glue away and you have the outlines just like in a real example of batik art!

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