The Most Important Critter In The Whole Wide World
by Gusty McCabe
Illustrations by Brandee Snyder
Trafford Publishing

"So when you hear them in the night, no need to wonder why. You know they're only practicin' and every night they try." "

The Most Important Critter In The Whole Wide World is a cute, sing-songy story reminiscent of a Kipling Just-So Story. In this case, the title might be "Why the Coyote Bays at the Moon." However, on top of this Kipling-esque story line, the author has many other themes: the beginning of the world, the competition between animals for who is most important, and the trickiness of the coyote. All these themes gel into a cohesive and entertaining tale. The illustrations are cute and the characters all have easily identifiable facial expressions, although there are many pages with words but no illustrations.

In the beginning of the book and the world, all little creatures lay in their respective homes asleep. Then came Rooster who woke the sun which woke all the critters. Coyote was a hungry critter and went in search of this clucking fowl. However, Rooster was in the top of a tree. Coyote tried to trick Rooster into coming down and almost had his teeth around the delicious bird's neck, when Rooster declared Coyote could not kill him. He was the most important critter in the world because he was in charge of waking the sun. Coyote, in an effort to prove that he was as important as Rooster because he, too, could make noises to wake the sun, howled at the wrong time of the day. He ended up, instead, baying at the moon, and his ancestors continued to make this ridiculously fun error.

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