Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote is an allegorical picture book about the hardships and struggles of immigration from award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh.
A Pura Belpré Author and Illustrator Honor Book!
An ALA/ALSC Notable Children’s Book!
Papa Rabbit left two years ago to travel far away north to find work in the great carrot and lettuce fields to earn money for his family. When Papa does not return home on the designated day, Pancho sets out to find him.
He packs Papa’s favorite meal—mole, rice and beans, a heap of still-warm tortillas, and a jug full of fresh aguamiel—and heads north. Along the way, Pancho crosses a river, climbs a fence, and passes through a tunnel guarded by uniformed, bribe-taking snakes. He soon meets a coyote, who offers to help Pancho in exchange for some of Papa’s favorite foods. They travel together until the food is gone and the coyote decides he is still hungry . . . for Pancho!
Tonatiuh enlivens Pancho’s story with the spirit of regional folklore, and he adds cultural atmosphere in arresting, flat folk art filled with cultural references. Of course, “coyote” has two meanings here. With tenderness and honesty, he brings to light the trials and tribulations facing families who seek to make better lives for themselves and their children by illegally crossing borders.
“Incandescent, humane and terribly necessary.” ―Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“Pancho Rabbit’s trip has the feel of a classic fable or fairy tale.” ―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
** STARRED REVIEW **Kirkus Reviews
"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."
"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."
"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
“This will spark strong responses and needed discussion.”Booklist
"Tonatiuh is so careful in weaving his allegory that his empathetic contemporary tale feels like age-old folklore, with simple but compelling text and a step-by-step escalation of the story through gripping, kid-understandable challenges."The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books