The Coyote Under The Table/El coyote debajo de la mesa: Folktales told in Spanish and English

By Joe Hayes
Cinco Puntos Press • 2011 • 133 pages
Paperback ($12.95)
ISBN: 9781935955061
Ages 8 and up

This bilingual short story collection by award-winning storyteller Hayes brings to life ten folktales from the Northern New Mexico area in English and Spanish.  Covering typical folk themes such as outsmarting a nemesis, going from rags to riches, and helping someone in need, each tale offer readers an opportunity to reflect, as they laugh out loud alongside both human and animal characters.

Read Related: Animal Jamboree: Latino Folktales

The tales are retold well, and are certainly appropriate for the intended age group. The book’s layout and design, which shows the first page of each story split into English and Spanish and alternates languages on the remaining pages rightfully offers each language equal treatment without confusing readers. The realistic black and white pencil illustrations by Antonio Castro L. are wonderful complements to the text and add another dimension to the collection. All in all, a must for any storyteller’s bookshelf.

Reviewed by Marietta B. Zacker, Book Curator at Sparkhouse, South Orange, NJ