When Otis Courted Mama
When Otis Courted Mama
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Annotation: While his life seems perfectly good as it is, Cardell, a young coyote, learns to tolerate, and even like, the coyote that is courting his mother.
Catalog Number: #88475
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
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Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Illustrator: McElmurry, Jill,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-15-216688-2 Perma-Bound: 0-605-83781-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-15-216688-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-83781-2
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2007029880
Dimensions: 23 x 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Aside from a few sticker burrs and occasional sand fleas, Cardell, a little coyote, has a mostly wonderful life. He has a perfectly good mama and a perfectly good daddy, and even though his daddy lives in a different part of the desert, Cardell still gets to see him. But then something ominous happens: the new neighbor, Otis, begins courting Cardell's mama, and the little coyote can't control his "grrr" reflex. In the past, Mama has said "Adios" to several suitors, and Cardell waits to hear her dismiss Otis, who can't do any of the neat things that Cardell's perfectly good daddy can. But perhaps there are other things Otis can do. Like making delicious prickly-pear pudding and pouncing as if he had springs in his legs. Best of all, he's a wonderful storyteller. And gradually, Cardell's "grrrs" get softer until they stop altogether. Like Otis, Appelt is a gifted storyteller, and families whose circumstances echo Cardell's will welcome this gentle story, which is nicely augmented by illustrator McElmurry's gouache pictures, with their vivid desert colors.
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 3 Set in the southwestern desert, this adorable, humble tale of how a young coyote copes with divorced parents will win children's hearts. The cadence of the story, with its soothing repetition, balances the new dual-home reality of so many children today with the old comfort of Home where a child feels "loved through and through." The beautifully toned gouache brushwork and large swatches of color are reminiscent of Rothko's work on one page while evoking classic Golden Book aesthetics on the next. White stands out like the stars in the desert night, and the eyelashes of these coyotes are long and lush or their cheeks blush. Cardell loves his daddy who can sing and play and cook jalapeño flapjacks like no other, but he has to share his "perfectly good daddy" with a stepmother and a baby stepbrother. He loves his "perfectly good mama," but not the series of suitors that come a-courtin' but are soon sent away. Then Otis arrives, and he makes Cardell feel "a grrr form in his throat." He expects his mother to say, "We can do without Otisbut "Adiós, Otis" never came." The complicated feelings of a child who must accept a new stepparent are woefully underrepresented in children's literature. Turns out that Otis can spin a pretty good yarn that "settled on Cardell's fur like a warm blanket. Even the moon seemed to smile." Well, like Otis, this exquisitely told tale is a welcome addition to any collection. Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City
Word Count: 840
Reading Level: 3.9
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.9 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 171317 / grade: Lower Grades
Guided Reading Level: W

Apart from sticker burrs and sand fleas, Cardell's life is mostly wonderful. He knows he's loved through and through by his perfectly good mama and his perfectly good daddy. They live in different parts of the desert, but that's okay--Cardell is mostly used to it. Then Otis comes calling, and Cardell feels a grrr form in his throat. Otis can't make jalapeño flapjacks or play Zig-the-Zag anything like Cardell's daddy. And so Cardell waits for Mama to say " Adiós, Otis." But what will happen if she doesn't?

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