Borreguita and the Coyote: A Tale from Ayutla, Mexico
Borreguita and the Coyote: A Tale from Ayutla, Mexico
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Annotation: A little lamb uses her clever wiles to keep a coyote from eating her.
Genre: Fairy tales
Catalog Number: #4605261
Format: Paperback
No other formats available
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 1991
Edition Date: 1991
Illustrator: Mathers, Petra,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-679-88936-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-679-88936-6
Dewey: 398.24
LCCN: 90033302
Dimensions: 21 x 26 cm.
Subject Heading:
Folklore. Mexico.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This tale from Ayutla, Mexico, uses the common folklore theme of a small animal--borreguita means little lamb in Spanish--outsmarting a larger and more powerful one. A coyote decides a lamb is a perfect meal. The lamb pleads her case--she will taste better after she has eaten the entire field of clover. Next she tricks the coyote into eating a round of cheese (actually the moon reflected in a pond). The lamb leaves the pond after the coyote jumps in. In their third encounter, the lamb pretends to hold up a rocky ledge and offers to run for help if the coyote will take her place. Finally, the coyote demands to eat the lamb, who convinces him that his mouth is large enough to swallow her whole. She catapults into his open mouth, and the jolt causes the coyote to lose his balance and run away in pain. The lamb is free at last. Aardema's brief retelling is a fine combination of chatty dialogue and comfortable description. Mathers' sparkling color drawings expertly show the exasperation and determination of the coyote and the pluck and ingenuity of the appealingly resourceful lamb. Lovely panoramas of Mexican landscapes in vibrant blues, greens, oranges, and yellows transport the reader in time and place. Endpapers embellished with Mexican scenes and symbols and a simple glossary add to the reasons preschoolers will request this story again and again. (Reviewed Sept. 15, 1991)
Horn Book
Borreguita is pursued by a coyote, but, fortunately, she is a cunning 'little ewe lamb.' This folk tale from the west of Mexico is energetically told and comfortably packed with recognizable motifs, and the boldly colored paintings enlarge upon the humorous elements of the story. Aardema and Mathers are felicitously paired in a tale of trickery rewarded.
Kirkus Reviews
Borreguita is a little lamb who manages to trick the coyote who wants to eat her not just three but four deliciously satisfying times: she suggests that she'll grow if he waits; she describes the moon's reflection as a cheese, so that he jumps into a pond; she cajoles him into taking her place ``hold[ing] up this mountain'' while she goes for help; and, finally, she bravely volunteers to jump right into the coyote's mouth so that he can swallow her in one gulp—with the result that poor Coyote, his teeth aching, vows to leave the wily lamb alone henceforth. Aardema, a practiced teller of tales, paces this saga expertly and tells it with pleasingly sly wit. Mathers contributes her exquisite sense of design and luminous color, while focusing on the story's drama and humor and the contrast between the innocent-looking lamb and her obtuse antagonist. A fine story; outstanding illustrations. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-9)"
Publishers Weekly
This trickster tale pits a gullible coyote against a deceptively cute lamb. """"Mathers... injects [the] fluid, humorous text with her own deliciously skewed point of view,"""" said PW. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
K--Gr 3-- Borreguita, which means simply ``little lamb,'' lives at the foot of a mountain. When her owner takes Borreguita out to eat in a field of lush, red clover, she is approached by a coyote who has lunch in mind. How this crafty lamb fools the coyote forms the base of this stylish retelling of a tale from Ayutla, Mexico. Aardema's language is simple and direct, allowing readers or listeners to be in on what Boreguita is up to long before the coyote catches on. Mathers's watercolors are the perfect complement, bright in pallete and granting expressiveness to both the coyote and his nemesis. Certain of her illustrations are reminiscent of Rousseau in the use of light and primitive forms, but Mathers always retains a light touch. Large enough in format to share at storytimes, this is a perfect introduction to Mexican folklore, and a great alternative to that other renowned coyote baiter, Beep Beep the Roadrunner.-- Ann Welton, Thomas Academy, Kent, WA
Word Count: 832
Reading Level: 3.1
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 7659 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q01472
Lexile: 560L
Guided Reading Level: O
Fountas & Pinnell: O

What's a little lamb to do about a fierce coyote that wants to eat her? Why, trick him, of course...and and trick him again...and trick him one more time! Here's a lively retelling of a Mexican folk tale by master story teller Verna Aardema, illustrated in bold, winning colors by Petra Mathers.

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