Coyote Moon was written by Maria Gianferrari and was illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. It was published by Roaring Brook Press in 2016.
Coyotes are opportunistic hunters. They’ll eat almost anything from mice to eggs to birds and rabbits. That is one reason they continue to thrive in areas that are populated by people. They are also adaptable. So, they find a way to hunt or scavenge, and a place to hide during the day wherever they live.
But who would have thought they would make a great subject for a beautiful picture book? Not me. But Gianferrari’s sparse text and Ibatoulline’s beautiful images work together to make an informative and beautiful story with just enough “fright” to still be safe for little ones to enjoy.
The text sticks to the facts and doesn’t intrude upon anthropomorphism at all. We see the coyote’s nature as a hunter. We see her motivation is to provide for her den full of cub. We see the natural order of animal eating animal. But we sense no “fairy-tale villain” in this story.
The gorgeous illustrations veiled by nighttime help to maintain a feeling of distance and safety for small children, in my opinion.
It’s a great book to read to your own children or grandchildren. And it is also a great candidate to read to a classroom of children learning about ecosystems and adaptability.