Synopses & Reviews
The first-ever children's book from the New York Times
bestselling master of contemporary fiction.
Buddy's an aging movie star.
Antwan's a rough-and-tumble loner.
And Miss Betty, the show girl, is a princess.
Different in nearly every way, they share one thing: they're all dogs...at heart.
Though Antwan's the leader of his pack and loves hanging in the hills, feasting from Hollywood's chicest garbage cans, he's too curious a coyote to turn down his new friend Buddy's invitation to see how the other half lives. Convincing his new human family he's a mysterious pooch named Timmy, Antwan quickly becomes part of the brood.
But as Antwan's star rises, Buddy's spirits fall. Past his prime to humans, Buddy wants to chuck the luxury and live in the wild if Antwan will show him how. To cheer up their pal, Antwan and Miss Betty concoct a daring plan, setting off a chain of uproarious adventures that will teach them all a few new tricks about friendship, family, and life.
Filled with the spot-on dialogue and clever plotting that have made Elmore Leonard top dog among writers of every breed, A Coyote's in the House reveals the inner life of canines wild and domesticated in a fresh, funny tale for the young and the young at heart.
"Leonard knows a thing or two about movies (he's seen 18 of his novels make it to the big screen, including Get Shorty and Jackie Brown), and he sets his entertaining debut children's book in the Hollywood hills. German shepherd Buddy, the canine star of movies such as Buddy to the Rescue, helped put his human family in the lap of luxury. But now that he's retired, life in his suburban home seems to revolve around a pampered poodle named Miss Betty and Buddy is bored of playing second fiddle. Enter Antwan, a wild coyote whose passion for food is matched by his disdain for domesticated pets ('The dog's forgot who he is. Thinks he's only supposed to do what his master wants,' Antwan says the first time he spies Buddy in a nearby park). Antwan and Buddy approach each other with caution at first, and even threaten to butt heads. But they soon come to respect each other and decide to trade places. The adventure may be slim and the plot travels familiar ground, but the dialogue sparkles and allows Leonard to satirize domestic life ('You too used to food comes out of a bag,' he lectures Miss Betty. 'That's what I'd call being housebroken, not the other thing, peeing on the carpet....[Y]ou've lost your taste for regular food'). Black-and-red illustrations throughout resemble film stills perhaps the book will be Buddy's ticket back to the big screen? Ages 10-up. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The story is good fun, but the real pleasure here, as in Leonard's adult novels, lies in listening to the characters banter with one another....Leonard can mix comedy and reality as nimbly for a younger audience as he does for adults." Booklist (Starred Review)
"The plot meanders a bit, with a catnapping and a movie audition thrown in to complicate the relationships, but in the end, it's a cheerful and ultimately bittersweet look at how life choices shape who we are. Good fun." Kirkus Reviews
"The dialogue between coyotes and dogs is surprisingly natural, but the novel lacks Leonard's usual fast pace." USA Today
"Leonard's knack for creating intriguing, strong characters is evident....Leonard's enlightening descriptions of the movie business may please adults more than youngsters, but all readers will delight in the growing friendship among the characters." School Library Journal
"Leonard's dialogue crackles realistically, as always, but the plot is somewhat strained, and younger readers may not care about the movie references, or even get them. Still, this is a light entertainment that dog lovers in particular will enjoy." KLIATT
About the Author
Elmore Leonard has written more than three dozen books during his highly successful writing career, including the bestsellers Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool, Get Shorty, and Rum Punch, and his most recent critically acclaimed collection of short stories, When the Women Come Out to Dance. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. He is the recipient of the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives with his wife, Christine, in Bloomfield Village, Michigan.