Children of Clay: A Family of Pueblo Potters

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
One of the fine "We Are Still Here" series by Native American authors that sensitively reveals how cultural traditions are handed down form parent to child and blended into life in contemporary America. Among the other titles recommended in this series are Shannon, An Ojbway Dancer, and The Sacred Harvest. The foreword is by Michael Dorris.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-- A beautifully illustrated short work on the life of a family of potters from Santa Clara Pueblo. The book follows Gia Rose as she and her relatives drive to the mountains to dig for clay; prepare it for working; and fashion pieces that are then polished, sanded, and fired. In addition to the many large, full-color photographs, there are maps of the area and of the 19 pueblos in New Mexico, and designs decorating the large-print text. Swentzell does a good job of demonstrating the family's closeness to nature and to other members in the village. Although the author provides readers with only a glimpse of tradition, there is a list of books for further reading. While the subject will be of special interest to those studying pueblos or New Mexico, and to those interested in pottery, this book also offers a very personal view of what it is like to live today as part of a Native American community. --Yvonne Frey, Peoria Public Schools, IL
James Jeske
Swentzell gives readers an intimate look into the customs of contemporary Pueblo people of northern New Mexico, following the family of great-grandmother Gia Rose of Santa Clara Pueblo through the ancient process of pottery making. From the drive into the mountains to dig the clay to the shaping, firing, and selling of the finished pieces, the family is always mindful of the respect due Clay-Old-Woman, the spirit of the clay. The book not only describes what must be done to produce the beautiful pots, and the cultural importance of each step, but also emphasizes how Gia Rose's family works together to maintain a tradition that has endured through generations. All this is illustrated by handsome color photographs that really capture the distinctiveness of the process. Terms in Tewa, the language of the people of Santa Clara, are sprinkled throughout the text, along with their meanings, and are recapped in a glossary. While maps of the Rio Grande and surrounding Pueblo villages are provided, the name of the mountain range where the clay is found is omitted. Bibliography appended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822526544
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992
  • Series: We Are Still Here Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.68 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.46 (d)

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