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Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,212 ratings  ·  411 reviews
 In this allegorical picture book, a young rabbit named Pancho eagerly awaits his papa’s return. Papa Rabbit traveled north two years ago to find work in the great carrot and lettuce fields to earn money for his family. When Papa does not return, Pancho sets out to find him. He packs Papa’s favorite meal—mole, rice and beans, a heap of warm tortillas, and a jug of aguamiel ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,212 ratings  ·  411 reviews

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Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Papa Rabbit had traveled north to find work when the rains didn’t come one year. Finally, after two years, he was returning home to his family. A party was planned with food and music, but Papa Rabbit didn’t come back. When the other rabbits went to sleep, Pancho Rabbit set out to find his father. He took with him his father’s favorite meal of mole, rice and beans, tortillas, and a jug of aguamiel. As he traveled, Pancho met a coyote, who offered to help him reach his father. The coyote demanded ...more
Mary Birky Collier
TEXT-TO-WORLD CONNECTION: This book is clearly the telling of real-life Latin-American families experiences as migrant workers as well as their experiences being smuggled across borders to work or live. The use of animals as characters—rabbits, roosters, rams, and coyotes—helps add a lighter and more child-friendly tone to helping readers become aware of all that Latin American families go through, especially in terms of risk, fear, danger, and loss, to find and make better lives for themselves ...more
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who's interested in stories about immigration

Now, I have read many children’s books that dealt with people from other countries immigrating to America for a better life. But, I had never read a children’s book that went in depth with the immigration between Mexico and America and the reasons behind it. “Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale” by Duncan Tonatiuh is such a tale that tackles the subject of immigration and yet also discusses about the importance of family in such an informative and effective way!

The story starts off wi
Apr 23, 2015 added it
Text to World Connection
Initially, the pages of Pancho Rabbit and Coyote remind me very much of my time spent immersed in Mexican culture. The family, food, music, clothing, and importance of celebration connect with what I regularly see in South Omaha. The most significant connection I made was in the story’s illustrations. In high school, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Mexico City where I became very intrigued by Aztec art. In college, I thrived in an ancient Latin American art history
This is an allegory, and not a subtle one. It is about why undocumented aliens come to the United States (el Norte) to work: if they don't, their families will starve. A bunch of animals decide they need to go work in el Norte to support their families. On the day Papa Rabbit is due back the animals at home have a party to welcome him back. But no one shows up! Pancho decides he simply can't sit around and packs up some of the food and drink and goes to look for him. Not long after leaving he me ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I used Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote as part of a quad text set for Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. Great story!
Sep 24, 2017 added it
Shelves: picture-books
Excellent backmatter.
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I listened to the CD included with this book and read it, but would prefer to read it instead of listen to it on CD. The person reading the story was not very engaging. The 1 thing that was good about listening to it on CD was the words that I cannot pronounce were pronounced correctly.
This wonderfully illustrated story of a young rabbit and his family's waiting for their father's arrival after traveling far away to earn money for his family is a great book to share with younger children. It hi
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Text to text:

This book reminds me of the Skippy John Jones Series. They both have a bilingual theme. They also both have Hispanic themes. I will say though that this book is way more culturally relevant. I find the Skippy John Jones books almost bordering racist stereotypes.


1. Who helped Pancho get to his dad? What did he have to give him?
2. Describe what happened before Pancho found his father?
3. What questions would you ask the coyote if you meet him? How did this coyote remind yo
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hispanic and migrant requests
Recommended to June by: Joan
Shelves: award, hispanic, fathers, fear
A story about migrant workers and the dangers they face. A father does not come home from working in El Norte and his son sets of to find him, dealing with all the dangers of the trip to the fields in El Norte. He is rescued by his father and his friends, but the fathers have had their own problems and if the drought doesn't end, the fathers will have to go back.

A desperately needed book.
Cherilyn Munoz
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story is interesting to children because of the colors and how the animals are showing two different perspectives in how they want more food. The book is age appropriate because children will be able to see animals that they might already know about. There is an accurate problem and solution in the story, the rabbit is on his way to find his father but ends up getting lost. The characters are convincing and are able to show how the people crossing the border are dressed. The book is in Span ...more
Alex  Baugh
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an allegorical tale about a young rabbit named Pancho who is eagerly awaiting the return of Papá Rabbit. Papá and two friends had gone up north to work in the fields and earn needed money when their own crops failed. But when Papá doesn't arrive home when expected, Pancho decides to go look for him. Packing Papá's favorite meal, Pancho heads out and soon meets Señor Coyote, who offers to take him safely north for the sweet and spicy mole Pancho had packed. They travel together, but when ...more
Lanie Pietramala Dabbs
Apr 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: latinx
I thought this book was clever, engaging, and provides an eyeopening perspective about immigration. I loved how the author used animals to tell the story. While the animals make it an exciting read for children, they also make it very intriguing to analyze from a critical perspective. As the author points out in the end of the book, he purposely choose the animals for deeper meaning. For example, coyote has two meanings (animal and a person who smuggles people between U.S. and Mexico). I think t ...more
It seems scary to think of saying goodbye to a papa who is off to work so he can take care of the family, and then waiting for him to come home, and waiting and waiting. This loving but tense story of young Pancho Rabbit’s papa and the family who awaits his return is a picture book allegory that offers an entry into discussing illegal immigration with children. All the family has prepared a celebration to welcome Papa home, but when he doesn’t come, young Pancho sets off, carrying favorite food ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
This book is about a young rabbit named Poncho, whose father went up north for a couple of years to work in a carrot and lettuce field to make money for his family. When it was time for Ponchos father to return home, the family decided to throw him a party and make him his favorite foods and drink. After waiting for a while Poncho and his family became worried because their father had not returned. Poncho decided to go up north and look for his father. On his way he met Coyote who told him he kn ...more
RLL22018_Jorge Ortiz
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
This book touched my heart. Pancho Rabbit’s Father left to el norte, the U.S., to work. This was an opportunity for his Father to be able to better provide for his family. I could relate to it in the sense that my parents came over to the U.S. for a better future. However, in the story only the father goes and leaves his family behind. When his family gathers familyand friends to welcome him back home, he is a no show. This has Pancho Rabbit worried and decides to go on a journey to find his dad ...more
Beatrice Fox
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very engaging story or a Mexican rabbit father who leaves home for work for months and never returns and how the eldest son goes off to find him. An adventure that takes a frightening and sinister turn. Love the art style and its very real fear in this adventure.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-jp
While I understand the role of using anthropomorphic animal stories to introduce difficult topics for kids, sometimes I worry that might actually make it harder for (a child at the right age) to get the point.
Barbara Lovejoy
May 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great story AND illustrations. It a great tool to start a conversation about immigration--for children AND adults.
Lakynn Goldsmith
I really enjoyed reading this book!!! The illustrations within the book reminded me of ancient civilization paintings! Come to find out the pictures were symbolizing Spanish art! Likewise, this book incorporated Spanish vocabulary within the story which I found really cool and educational! The wording wasn't swarmed with Spanish words but there was just enough to keep it interesting and engaging! At the end of the book the author left a note to the readers explaining his background and how this ...more
Jill Stark
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Text to World: Picture

Pancho Rabbit’s father and others leaves their Rancho in order to find work in the carrot and lettuce fields up north. The fathers will earn money for their families and bring it home. On the day that the fathers are supposed to be home, they do not make it. Pancho gets worried and sets out on the long journey north, with food, to find his father. On the way, Pancho encounters Coyote who offers to show him the way to the carrot and lettuce fields. They travel on top of tr
Anne Soderlund
Reflection Text to world – Even though this is a story about trying to cross the border into America to find Pancho's father, it reminds me of all of the news about boats full of refugees from Myanmar that are stranded because countries refuse to allow them entrance. http://nypost.com/2015/05/15/thousand... [retrieved 6-19-2015]

Pancho Rabbit's father has been working in the North, the family is planning a fiesta for his return, but he doesn't show up. Pancho takes some supplies and sets out to f
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What an addition to the Latino community!

This book starts off with Papa Rabbit heading north to work in the carrot and lettuce fields following a drought in their homeland. After a while, the Rabbit family prepares a great feast and music to welcome the father and comrades back home. After much waiting, Papa Rabbit does not show up. Pancho Rabbit, son of Papa Rabbit, takes matters into his own hands and journeys to find his father along with a book bag full of his father's favorite foods: mole,
Evan Molin
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is about a family of rabbits who live in Mexico and the father and his friends need to go north in order to find work and provide for his entire family. The family waits for him to come back but he never does, so Pancho Rabbit, one of the sons, decides to fill a bag up with his father’s favorite meal and head north to find him. After encountering the Coyote who befriends him initially, leads him north for a while, but then attempts to eat him, Pancho screams. And all of a sudden Pancho ...more
Becky B
Pancho is waiting for his Papa to come home from the North. A big fiesta is planned, but Papa doesn't come on time. Pancho is worried, and when Coyote offers to take him North in exchange for the food Pancho carries, Pancho agrees. The journey is hard, and Coyote takes more and more. Eventually, Pancho fears for his life, but Papa shows up just in time.

This story is an allegory for the experience of many migrant workers and illegal immigrants from Central America and Mexico to the US. Tonatiuh i
Cassidy Gilbride
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought of two text-to-text connections that I could make in this book. A text-to-text connection is a way to connect one work to another, whether it be comparing or contrasting. This engages a student's knowledge of previously read texts. The first connection that I made was to Little Red Riding Hood. The coyote in this book reminded me a lot of the wolf in that story. He is all nice and willing to help right up until the end, when he decides that he is hungry for the main character. The othe ...more
The Styling Librarian
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote by Duncan Tonatiuh – A Migrant’s Tale – Coyote has two meanings- 1- the animal, 2- a person who smuggles people from Mexico to the US. Really fascinating introduction to migrants, survival, experiences of those in poverty… approachable for young children and also perfect for beginning a discussion with older children. There are so many undocumented people here in the US that work hard to survive. So many people who have a fear of being discovered and not having secur ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
This was a story of Pancho Rabbit anxiously waiting for his father to return from"el norte" where he went to work. After realizing that his father had not arrived, he took it upon himself to go look for him. The sneaky Coyote tricks him by taking him to see his father in exchange for food only to find out that he would be dinner when the mole was gone. This story talks about the dangers people face when coming to the Unites States from Mexico. Although the story is fictional, I still think it is ...more
This Mexican folktale is actually an allegory for the problems Mexicans face when they are trying to enter or leave the United States illegally for work. Teaching in a school with a majority Hispanic population, we have actually had some families who had members being held by the "Coyotes" because of their inability to pay the fees the Coyotes required of them. It is a serious but important book that can help children to better understand the plight of illegal immigrants. ...more
Jun 25, 2013 rated it liked it
This book deals with a very controversial topic and so the reactions to it are going to be polarized. For this reason I think a book like this would be a wonderful place to start in discussing the issue of illegal immigration with older students. Proof yet again that picture books aren't just for young readers. ...more
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I was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I received my BFA from Parsons School of Design and my BA from Eugene Lang College, both of them divisions of the New School University in New York City.

My first picture book "Dear Primo, a letter to my cousin" is published by H N Abrams and will be in stores March 1st, 2010.

My illustrations of the AH1N1 in Mexico were selecte

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