Coyote Columbus — National Aboriginal History Month

For National Aboriginal History Month we’ll be dedicating our June posts to Aboriginal titles published by Groundwood Books.

Thomas King, author of the Coyote Columbus books, is of Cherokee and Greek descent. Coyote Columbus is King’s way of retelling the Christopher Columbus story from a Native point of view. Here are a few illustrations from A Coyote Columbus Story, illustrated by William Kent Monkman, and A Coyote Solstice Tale, illustrated by Gary Clement.

A Coyote Columbus Story by Thomas King

A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King

A Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas king

A Coyote Columbus Story by Thomas KingAbout A Coyote Columbus Story
A retelling of the Christopher Columbus story from a Native point of view turns this tale on its ear! Coyote, the trickster, creates the world and all the creatures in it. She is able to control all events to her advantage until a funny-looking red-haired man named Columbus changes her plans. He is unimpressed by the wealth of moose, turtles and beavers in Coyote’s land. Instead he is interested in the human beings he can take to sell in Spain.

Thomas King uses a bag of literary tricks to shatter the stereotypes surrounding Columbus’s voyages. In doing so, he invites children to laugh with him at the crazy antics of Coyote, who unwittingly allows Columbus to bring about the downfall of his human friends. And he makes the point that history is influenced by the culture of the reporter.

Coyote Solstice Tale by Thomas King About A Coyote Solstice Tale
Trickster Coyote is having his friends over for a festive solstice get-together in the woods when a little girl comes by unexpectedly. She leads the party-goers through the snowy woods to a shopping mall — a place they have never seen before.

Coyote gleefully shops with abandon, only to discover that filling your shopping cart with goodies is not quite the same thing as actually paying for them. The trickster is tricked and goes back to his cabin in the woods — somewhat subdued — though nothing can keep Coyote down for long.

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