Pancho Rabbit and the CoyotePancho Rabbit and the Coyote
By Duncan Tonatiuh
Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers

“Accessible for young readers, who may be drawn to it as they would a classic fable; perfect for mature readers and the classroom, where its layers of truth and meaning can be peeled back to be examined and discussed. An incandescent, humane and terribly necessary addition to the immigrant-story shelf.” –Kirkus Reviews

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Description
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—and heads north. He meets a coyote, who offers to help Pancho in exchange for some of Papa’s food. They travel together until the food is gone and the coyote decides he is still hungry . . . for Pancho!

Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the hardship and struggles faced by thousands of families who seek to make better lives for themselves and their children by illegally crossing the border.

Reviews & Accolades
Tonatiuh uses an animal cast to create a valuable portrait of the often-perilous journeys of migrant Mexicans who seek work in the U.S. to support their families…In both prose and art, Tonatiuh expertly balances folkloric elements with stark, modern realities; Pancho Rabbit’s trip has the feel of a classic fable or fairy tale, with the untrustworthy coyote demanding more and more of him. As in Tonatiuh’s previous books, his illustrations draw from ancient Mexican art, but he also incorporates photographic textures, from denim jeans to the zipper on Pancho’s mochila (backpack), emphasizing the connection between past and present. An extensive author’s note offers a useful springboard for adult-child discussion as Tonatiuh delineates the dangers undocumented immigrants face. The story’s bittersweet, even ominous, ending reminds readers that there are no easy solutions.” –Publisher’s Weekly

“Animals stand in for people in this morality play about immigration, allowing readers to see the migrant’s side of the story. Children will learn a bit about Mexican culture from the hand-drawn and digitally collaged folk-art-inspired illustrations depicted in warm desert colors as well as from the author’s note. The stylized, flat illustrations put the story in context and set the mood. The book shows the fragility of making a living, the desperation that many migrants experience, and the deep family ties that bind the characters. Classrooms studying the migrant experience will find plenty to discuss here.” –School Library Journal

“A brilliant modern fable—eloquent, hopeful and heart-rending—about a rabbit family whose members cross the border in search of a better life, and each other…Tonatiuh’s great strength is in the text. No word is wasted, as each emotion is clearly and poignantly expressed. The rabbits’ future is unknown, but their love and faith in each other sustains them through it all. Accessible for young readers, who may be drawn to it as they would a classic fable; perfect for mature readers and the classroom, where its layers of truth and meaning can be peeled back to be examined and discussed. An incandescent, humane and terribly necessary addition to the immigrant-story shelf.” –Kirkus Reviews

Groups Represented
Mexican American

Themes
Illegal immigration, family relationships

Setting
Mexico

Author Research
TBA

Engagement Projects
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