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A Coyote Solstice Tale
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A Coyote Solstice Tale

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Winner of the American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Awards, Best Picture Book.

Trickster Coyote is having his friends over for a festive solstice get-together in the woods when a little girl comes by unexpectedly. She leads the party-goers through the snowy woods to a shopping mall -- a place they have never seen before.

Coyote gleefully shops with abandon, on
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Groundwood Books (first published August 25th 2009)
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3.78  · 
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 ·  184 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Thomas King's A Coyote Solstice Tale is a fun romp through what can only be described as some of the not so magical and not so appealing aspects of the holiday season (crowded malls, consumerism run rampant and that like the little girl who has disguised herself as a reindeer points out, no one wants to share, everyone is on edge and out to spend, spend, spend, waiting in line like cattle, fighting with those ahead of them or behind them and so on and so on). Although often wickedly humorous, I ...more
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
I found the rhymes awkward and the illustrations were not my style at all. It also just felt too didactic and one-dimensional in its attack on consumerism. I agree that a lot of the holiday shopping is way over-the-top and some people can get a little crazy and greedy about it BUT it's also a very nice feeling to give gifts to people and a lot of people depend on retail for jobs in our economy. And, while excess is one thing, even if one makes homemade gifts it's usually with crafts or food ite ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Anti-Consumption Christmas Tales and/or Winter Solstice Stories
Eagerly awaiting the arrival of his animal friends on the night of their annual solstice feast, Coyote is instead surprised to discover a young girl on his doorstep. Dressed in red, with sticks in her hair, she claims to be a reindeer, and since the rules of hospitality demand that all guests be welcomed, Coyote allows her into his home. When Beaver, Bear, Otter and Moose finally do arrive, the companions retrace their new friend's tracks, finding themselves at... the mall? Here, entranced by th ...more
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people looking for alternative winter holiday stories
Was searching for winter solstice stories for our almost-three-year-old daughter when I came across A Coyote Solstice Tale. I'd enjoyed Thomas King's The Truth About Stories, so was excited to give this children's book a try.

Our daughter and I sat in the library and read A Coyote Solstice Tale twice, back to back. She requested a third reading, but I declined because it was almost lunch time :-)

Was this a hit with our preschooler? Yes, definitely. Is the story didactic? Sure*. The anti-consumer
Nancy Kotkin
A didactic attempt to lampoon commercialism, but all of Coyote's attempted purchases are gifts for his friends. The rhyming text has an oddly old-fashioned feel to it and the illustrations are very cartoonish.
I wanted to like this more than I did. I am a huge fan of Christmas and the holiday season and really love almost everything about it. I am not naive enough to not recognize that it is over-commercialized and can be a time of greed and consumerism...but it can also be a time of giving and charity and renewing friendships and showing love in a variety of methods. I don't love to shop but I do enjoy trying to pick out a thoughtful gift for those I love most. I love the baked goods and the parties ...more
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a didactic tale featuring Coyote, who typically plays the trickster; this time the trick is on Coyote.

Coyote and his friends are preparing a feast when a "reindeer" ( with a red nose even!!) arrives and guides the unlikely group to the mall.

As the story unfolds we are as readers forced to consciously consider our approach to consumerism during the Christmas season (not a bad lesson at all in my mind).

This is a charming tale told in bearable rhyme by Thomas King ( I guess Moose kind of r
Dec 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
A cute idea (anti-consumerist holiday story), but the execution seems more geared toward adults than kids.
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am really charmed by the idea of bringing Coyote in to the modern day. It is still somewhere (or sometime) where he can be flummoxed and provide lessons.
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: award-winners
Summary: This book was about a coyote who was planning on having his friends over for Christmas dinner. A little girl dressed up as a reindeer shows up unexpectedly before his friends, and he invites her in for some food. Eventually she leads them all to the mall where they learn about the capitalistic side of Christmas, and are kind of entertained, but not fully sold on the idea. The girl knows that she would rather have good company and peace than gifts, but they part ways so she can go find h ...more
May 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Coyote is home waiting for his friends to show up for a feast, however, a surprise guest shows up at coyote’s door. It’s a little girl that wants to find goodwill and peace during the hectic holiday season. As tradition states, Coyote feeds her and lets her rest until his friends come home. Then they all decide to find where she came from, which leads them to a mall at Christmas time. Coyote goes wild shopping for things, only to realize that he has to pay for all the items in the cart. The stor ...more
Jul 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: native-american

Format: Picture book
Age level: Elementary
Protagonist: Coyote

Brief Summary: The majority of this book is written as a rhyming poem. It tells the tale of Coyote and his friends meeting for a feast. However, an unexpected visitor leads them to their first trip to a mall. The illustrations are bright and cartoon-like.

I'm actually surprised this was one of three books to be chosen for the American Indian Youth Literature Award. I didn't feel it portrayed N
Aug 14, 2013 rated it liked it
An interesting look at the contrast of traditional versus modern celebrations of Christmas or the winter solstice. I'm a little concerned with the depiction of the traditional in animal I thinking too much?
In the book “A Coyote Solstice Tale” by Thomas King, illustrated by Gary Clement, Coyote is inviting his friends over to his house for a winter solstice festival. Then, a girl dressed up as a reindeer unexpectedly shows up at Coyote’s house. When Beaver, Bear, Otter, and Moose show up, they decide to help the girl return home. They went out and followed her footprints in the snow until they came to a clearing and saw something new that was not there the previous year. It was a mall. When the ani ...more
Kelsey Thompson
This book is about Coyote and his friends having a winter solstice party in the woods. A young girl dressed as a reindeer ends up at their house so Coyote lets her in. They wondered how she got there so they follow her footsteps. They walk by a mall so the girl takes them inside to shop. Coyote starts shopping and puts everything in his cart but doesn't understand he has to pay for it. The girl says thats why she likes being in the woods as a reindeer where everyone can share and enjoy things. T ...more
Esther Westfall
This is a really cute story that reinforces the "remember what is important during holidays" idea. It's funny since it is the human in the story that has to point out to the animals just how wrong most other humans are about not being generous and not sharing. The story flowed very well due to the rhyming element within it. Though Coyote, perhaps due to his trickster nature, seems to be exempt from constantly having to rhyme. My kids really enjoyed this story and loved looking at the illustratio ...more
Brooke Milone
A little girl gets lost and finds herself at a coyotes house, during the winter. It's Christmas season and the coyote tries to bring the girl back to where she came from. They end up at the mall and the coyote puts everything in his cart to buy, but doesn't realize he needs the money to pay for all the stuff. The book teaches the kids what is really important about holidays, its not the gifts, its the people and the love shared.
This book won the American Indian Library Association's Youth Literature Award for Best Picture Book in 2010.

I don't think I would have awarded it Winner -- though admittedly I haven't done a survey of what Native kidlit was published in that 2-year period -- but it is cute. And I continue to appreciate stories told in rhyming verse narrative that doesn't feel like it's trying too hard. (And unlike some reviewers, I didn't find it excessively didactic, though I had initially worried I would.)

Rachael Fricke
A winter tale, told in a rhyming pattern of animals that act like humans. I really enjoyed this story. The young girl in the story dressed up like an animal because she didn't want to be like the humans, all rushing around, in a hurry to go no where. But the coyote wanted to buy gifts for all his friends. But in the end he wonders if good will and peace could be bought. A cute picture book that would make for an easy winter read-aloud.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was about a coyote who was having a celebration with his animal friends when a little girl came. She took them to the mall and they realized they had to pay for stuff. I think this is an appropriate book for children of the primary grades. This is a good lesson to show students of materialism. I would use this in the classroom because it'a a fun and goofy story along with a good message.
Sierra McKinley
This story was about a coyote and his animal friends meeting a young girl and engaging in the human shopping experience. Through this, they learned how selfish humans are and decided they'd much rather keep to their simple life. I thought this book was cute and had a valuable lesson of avoiding taking more than you need.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I seem to be in the minority here, but I think this is frigging brilliant. It is so insightful that it is uncomfortable. The cartoony illustrations contrast perfectly. The coyote getting sucked into the consumer fever. The Proust reference. The little girl who is so desperate to escape the excess that she dresses as a reindeer. Like I said. Frigging brilliant.
The story is told in rhyme and is about a group of animals who find a human in the forest.
They try to practice the holiday spirit and see the not so nice side of the holidays at the mall.

Cute story
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book about friendship, the simple pleasure of being together with good food & drink, irreverent regarding consumerism during the holiday season, the watercolours are exquisite and go so well with the story
Jeffrey Yasskin
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Whitney Pittsenbarger
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend. This is how I feel everytime I go to a mall. Eveyrtime I go into a city.
Joy Keil
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: clara
Excellent. Good message, great illustrations, fabulous rhyming tale. Enjoyable. Would recommend to my friends.
Antoinette Scully
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A cute and clever book about the real meaning of the holidays. Personified animals. Perfect your early elementary. Good book to rent from the library.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful tale of the importance of friendship. Anti consumerism and promotes goodwill and peace.
Kelly Robinson
A little girl gets lost and finds herself at a coyotes house, during the winter. It's Christmas season and the coyote tries to bring the girl back to where she came from. They end up at the mall and the coyote puts everything in his cart to buy, but doesn't realize he needs the money to pay for all the stuff. The book teaches the kids what is really important about holidays, its not the gifts, its the people and the love shared.
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Thomas King was born in 1943 in Sacramento, California and is of Cherokee, Greek and German descent. He obtained his PhD from the University of Utah in 1986. He is known for works in which he addresses the marginalization of American Indians, delineates "pan-Indian" concerns and histories, and attempts to abolish common stereotypes about Native Americans. He taught Native American Studies at the U ...more