The Lovesick Skunk
By Joe Hayes
Illustrated by Antonio Castro L.
Joe Hayes must have had a singular growing up in the Arizona desert because he sure loves to write stories about it. And he tells those stories of his so much to audiences all over the United States that it seems like the stories just get more and more fantastic. I bet you've already heard the first tall tale he wrote--The Gum-Chewing Rattler--about a rattlesnake who chewed bubblegum. Yes, it's true. That scary snake even blew huuuuuge bubbles.
Now Joe has written a new story about his early years in Arizona. Joe, the kid, was a creature of habit. If he decided he liked to do something, he would do it over and over again. Like wear the same T-shirt until it nearly fell apart or use the same pencil until he'd sharpened it down to a nub. He also had a pair of black-and-white high-top sneakers that he loved to wear. He wore them every day. "Get rid of those shoes," his mother told him one morning. "They smell terrible!"
Did Joe listen? Not until he met the back end of a skunk.
And this wasn't just an ordinary skunk, but one who was lovesick.
But I'm not going to tell you who she was in love with. You'll have to find that out for yourself.
About the Creators
Joe Hayes is one of America's premier storytellers. He grew up in a small town in southern Arizona where he started learning Spanish from his classmates. As Joe got older, he began reading the work of folklorists and anthropologists and gathering the old stories from the Southwest region. His books have received the Arizona Young Readers Award, two Land of Enchantment Children's Book Awards, the Texas Bluebonnet award, and the National Storytelling Network Talking Leaves Award. He lives in New Mexico.
Antonio Castro Lopez (L.) was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and has lived in the Juarez-El Paso area for most of his life. He has illustrated dozens of childrens' books including Barry, the Bravest Saint Bernard (Random House), Pajaro Verde, The Treasure on Gold Street, The Day It Snowed Tortillas and The Gum-Chewing Rattler (Cinco Puntos Press). His artwork for My Tata's Remedies/Los remedios de mi tata won a Pura Belpré Honor for illustration.