Daniel 'Coon:  the story of a pet raccoon.  Phoebe Erickson

Alfred A. Knopf, 1954; Awarded 1957.

Synopsis:  Tacks and his grandfather find a baby raccoon after a storm destroys its nest.  Daniel 'Coon, as Tacks dubs his new pet, makes life on Hilltop Farm lively with his antics.  But life with Danny is not all fun.  Sometimes Danny gets into trouble and Tacks' constant worry is that Danny might become the victim of the coon dogs and hunters.  Danny is a hero when he helps Tacks and his grandparents prove their ownership of some land.

Themes:  Friendship; Tolerance; Wildlife

Author information:  Something About the Author, 59; Contemporary Authors New Revision, 3; Contemporary Authors, 1-4R.

Discussion questions:  Standard 3, Benchmark 3
1. How does Tacks get Mark and Rusty to stop their trapping?  How could this approach be used in other situations to encourage someone to act better?
2. How do Tacks and his grandparents treat Jelly Hawkins and his family?  What does Tacks think of Jelly Hawkins and his family?
3. Tacks lives with his grandparents on Hilltop Farm.  How do Tacks' activities during the summer, the winter and after school compare to your activities.

Activities:
1. Tack's mother left him a notebook with drawings and observations of wildlife.  Make your own notebook by drawing or copying pictures of wildlife in Kansas.  Include information about each animal or bird.  Standard 3, Benchmark 1
2. Use a kit from the Kansas Wildlife and Parks to make plaster casts of footprints of the animals that lived in the woods around Hilltop Farm.  Write a short description about the animal's habitat, food, and habits.  A catalog may be obtained from KS Dept. of Wildlife & Parks, Reference Center, 512 SE 25th Ave, Pratt, KS  67124; 620-672-0776 or 620-672/5911 ext 176.  Materials may be borrowed without charge except for return postage.  Standard 5, Benchmark 3
3. Research Kansas state laws for keeping a wild animal.  What wild animals could you keep for a pet?  Standard 2, Benchmark 4