Cover image for Pancho Rabbit and the coyote : a migrant's tale
Pancho Rabbit and the coyote : a migrant's tale
Tonatiuh, Duncan, author, illustrator.
Publication Information:
New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, [2013]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
When Papa Rabbit does not return home as expected from many seasons of working in the great carrot and lettuce fields of El Norte, his son Pancho sets out on a dangerous trek to find him, guided by a coyote. Includes glossary and author's note about illegal immigration and undocumented workers.
General Note:
"Artwork in this book is hand drawn, then collaged digitally"--Colophon

"Book design by Maria T. Middleton"--Colophon
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 158860.
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



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.

Praise for Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote
"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 fab≤ 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 , starred review

"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."
-- Publishers Weekly , starred review

"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

Pura Belpré Author and Illustrator Honor book 2014
New York Public Library's annual Children's Books list: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2013
Kirkus Best Books of 2013
Best Multicultural Children's Books 2013 (Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature)
Notable Children's Books from ALSC 2014
Notable Books for a Global Society Book Award 2014

Author Notes

Duncan Tonatiuh is the winner of the prestigious Pura Belpré Award. Born and raised in Mexico, he attended school in the United States. He divides his time between San Miguel Allende, Mexico, and New York City.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In this pointed allegory, Pancho, a young rabbit, sets out for El Norte to find his father, who is late returning from the great carrot and lettuce fields. He falls in with a ravenous coyote who offers to guide him over the border (for a price), but when the food runs out, so does Pancho's luck. In a rather large coincidence, he's rescued from death by his Papa. Along the way, Pancho crosses a river, climbs a fence, and passes through a tunnel guarded by uniformed, bribe-taking snakes. Tonatiuh shapes his story along strong folkloric patterns, and he adds atmosphere aplenty in arresting, flat folk art with cultural references (coyote is the term for someone who smuggles people across the border). He closes with a critical, research-based author's note about who illegal immigrants are and the dangers they face, capped by a list of web reports and resources. The depiction of the border's barriers and those who patrol them may be discomfiting for some, but with so little on the topic available for younger readers, it's good to have a book that can be read at several levels. This will spark strong responses and needed discussion.--Peters, John Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Tonatiuh (Diego Rivera: His World and Ours) 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. It is time for Papa Rabbit to return home from working in "El Norte," and his family prepares a celebratory fiesta, but he fails to arrive. When Pancho goes in search of his father, he meets a coyote who agrees to guide him north. 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. Ages 6-9. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Tonatiuh has brilliantly taken the very sensitive topic of illegal immigration and created an allegorical animal tale that could pass for a tale handed down through the oral tradition. The other absolutely inspired conceit is the fact that Pancho Rabbit's traveling companion is a real Coyote, which lends all sorts of relevance and irony to the story, since the often-corrupt characters who lead actual immigrants to the border for a fee are known as coyotes. And of course, once Pancho has shared all of his food with Coyote, the villain wants to eat the rabbit. The long-eared protagonist goes on to vanquish some Coyote derriere. This is a classic hero's journey, with the child, in this case, leaving home in search of a parent. The excellence of the text and the illustrations were acknowledged by the Pura Belpre committee, who named this an author and illustrator Honor book. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.