Coyotes are smart, curious, and adaptable. They live on prairies, in forests, and on farmland. They even live in cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York. City coyotes might make their homes in parks or in nature preserves or on golf courses—all places where they can find plenty of food and shelter. Sometimes they live in small family groups, and sometimes they live alone.
Hungry Coyote by Cheryl Blackford with illustrations by Laurie Caple offers kids a glimpse into the life of an urban coyote as he struggles to feed himself and his famished family.
We asked Cheryl and Laurie to share some of their inspiration for the book.
“The idea for this picture book came to me as I watched a lone coyote trot across a frozen lake one January morning. He turned his head to look at me, decided I was no threat, and continued on his way. Although we don’t often see the coyotes themselves, just signs of their presence such as scat on the trails, I saw him twice more. I wondered what he ate and how he lived. I did some research and became interested in urban coyotes and their success at living beside humans in many American cities. While many people are suspicious of coyotes (probably based upon their reputation as ‘tricksters’), or think of them as vermin, I admire the intelligence and adaptability of these animals. They thrive in many different natural habitats ranging from desert to lush grasslands, and now they’re also thriving in our cities. How could you not admire such a smart, successful creature?”
“A fondness for nature provides the inspiration behind my artwork. I had the fascinating opportunity to spend time with one of only two known domesticated coyotes in the United States. ’Wiley’ lives with Rick Hanestad and his family in western Wisconsin, about an hour’s drive from St. Paul. A National Geographic film crew recently spent a number of hours documenting his behavior.
“Wiley is very tame and handles well on a leash, just like a friendly pup. He has never shown any type of aggressive behavior to humans and sleeps on a favorite recliner in the Hanestads’ living room!”
Cheryl and Laurie hope Hungry Coyote encourages readers to look at our own surroundings with fresh eyes and develop curiosity and respect for wildlife in our cities. They recommend the following links about urban coyotes: