Monday, July 8, 2013

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote by Duncan Tonatiuh


Pancho Rabbit’s father must travel to the North to work and then send money back to his family.  The family hears that he is returning and prepares a party but then he doesn’t show up.  Pancho decides to go looking for his father.  Taking his father’s favorite foods he sets off.  He soon meets a coyote who offers to help but as they meet obstacles the coyote demands that Pancho give him the food he brought.  Finally, when the food is gone, the coyote threatens to eat Pancho.  Fortunately, Pancho’s father hears his screams and comes to rescue him.  

In the author’s note we find out that the coyote is actually a slang term for someone who helps immigrants get from Mexico to the US so this story takes on a whole other level as a story of migrant workers sneaking into the US.

I thought this was a very interesting book.  On one level the story of Pancho and the coyote was very similar to other trickster type tales.  It was evident that the coyote was going to end up trying to eat Pancho.  I knew something else was going on and that it had to do with migrant workers but it wasn’t until I read the author’s note that I saw the tie in completely.  The only thing that bothered me was the ending.  Pancho is rescued by his dad, they travel back and celebrate, but then they talk about how the father will have to go back North if it doesn’t rain.  Pancho says he will go with him.  It ends with the mother saying she hopes it rains.  To me the ending seemed abrupt…but maybe it was supposed to be.

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