A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lots of facts about coyotes and predators in general, including in the back matter, which includes suggestions and online resources regarding how kids can help coyotes survive. Some scientific and animal vocabulary, including "predator," "prey," migration," "scat," "camouflage," "vole."
"We're sharing these woods with a lot of other creatures. We want to make sure our home for tonight doesn't disturb theirs." "People who speak ill of coyotes don't understand the good they do. We need predators to keep the natural world in balance." "The balance of nature includes everything alive, even us. We take what we need and no more. Predators make sure there aren't too many prey animals. But if they overdo it, the prey will all disappear."
Positive Role Models
Diana's grandpa and Coyote Pup's Auntie are strong mentors to their young relatives, teaching them about their natural world, how to get food, and how to stay safe. They are both gentle, patient, caring teachers.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Coyote's Wild Home is co-written by debut author Lily Kingsolver and her Pulitzer-Prize-winning author mother, Barbara Kingsolver. This is the latter's first book for children. Solid facts about coyotes, predators, and the environment are smoothly woven into the parallel stories of a girl named Diana and her grandpa on her first camping trip in an Appalachian forest and Coyote Pup with his "auntie" on his first hunt in the same forest. Paul Mirocha's illustrations capture the intimate relationships within the human and animal pairs as well as the magnificence of the wild terrain and the coziness of the coyote pack. There's nothing violent or scary, but there are mentions of environmental concerns, including coyotes being pushed into new territory due to housing development.
Is It Any Good?
There's a lot of information about coyotes and predators tucked into this gentle story of wilderness exploration. Bit by bit, the two young stars of Coyote's Wild Home -- Coyote Pup and Diana -- each learn about their environment from their loving, instructive older family members. And Paul Mirocha's nearly photo-realistic illustrations will draw young readers in.
Environmental messages come through seamlessly, like when the unseen narrator says of the coyotes, "They moved to this mountain last winter after their forest home was cut down to build houses. They're still learning what they can find in this new forest to feed their family in every season." Back matter offers "Facts about Coyotes and How You Can Help Them Survive."
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