A coyote in the moonlight.Wild predators thrill kids. Have you ever checked out the library shelves about lions, tigers, and alligators? Usually there are scant pickings. But how often do we think about the predators that live among us? Coyote Moon is a beautiful exploration of urban wildlife.

The book is organized around spare sentences using vivid language to describe what Coyote does. Almost every spread starts with two words describing Coyote’s actions, “Coyote trots…Coyote sniffs…Coyote looks.” This would be a great book to use in a discussion of verbs or as a mentor text for kids struggling to use vivid language.

If you love the picture book as an art form, this is also a great book to examine. It uses page turns brilliantly to build suspense and then satisfy it.

Bagram Ibatoulline’s art is beautiful. Since coyotes are nocturnal, most of the book’s art is done in a Rembrandt-esque dark palette. I was especially impressed with the shifts in perspective from page to page. Sometimes we’re underground, sometimes we’re looking at Coyote from above, sometimes we’re looking at Coyote as if we were the prey he was attacking.

I was lucky enough to win my copy in a KidLit Frenzy giveaway (thanks so much!) but this is definitely a title I would consider purchasing. In fact, it may be going on my list of titles to give as gifts this Christmas.

Coyote Moon, by Maria Gianferrari and Bagram Ibatoulline. Roaring Brook Press: 2016.

Children around a globe.



I participate each week in the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge at KidLit Frenzy.