Children's Literature - Gisela JerniganAlicia Histia, a young girl from -coma Pueblo in Northern New Mexico, has many current interests and two hopes for the future. When she grows up, she would like to be a potter and a lawyer. Today, when she is not busy helping her mother make the beautiful, traditional -coma pottery, she is involved with school, cross-country running and stamp collecting. This very successful combination of lovely full color photographs and a brief but informative text make this photoessay picture book appealing and useful for a wide age range. After being introduced to Alicia, her home and her pottery-making family, we watch the creation of pots and figures from the digging of the clay through the shaping, decorating, firing, and finally selling at a craft fair. Besides learning about the pottery-making process, we also are introduced to some traditional foods, dances and a legend. A glossary and author's note on -coma history and culture are included.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 2-4-Beautiful, lively, full-color photographs highlight this sunny and warm biographical story of Alicia Histia, a young member of Acoma Pueblo, as she and her family combine tradition with the realities of modern America. The photos clearly illustrate the people and activities described, and will say much more than the text to young readers. The depictions of pottery-making are exceptional. For libraries needing titles in this content area, this is a good introduction. There are however, a few weaknesses. How old, for example, is Alicia? Readers are sure to ask. The glossary does not include pronunciations, and while some definitions are helpful, others are not. (Children are not likely to gain an understanding of ``pinch pot'' by reading that it is a ``corrugated clay pot.'' The photographs within the text, however, show exactly what it is.) Alicia's story is a good companion to Marcia Keegan's Pueblo Boy (Cobblehill, 1991) and Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith's Pueblo Storyteller (Holiday, 1991), both of which offer similar information, but are more detailed.-Darcy Schild, Schwegler Elementary School, Lawrence, KS
Stephanie ZvirinThis attractive photo-essay takes readers to xe7 coma , a New Mexico pueblo, to learn about the traditions of the Keres Indians who live there. Elementary-schooler Alicia Histia is the sweet, enthusiastic guide. Children may be a bit disconcerted by Alicia's different hairstyles, and there's only a partial shot showing what the pueblo actually looks like, but the quality of the pictures is quite fine--as it should be from this veteran photographer. The plainly written text is rather loosely organized, and since there's not much about Alicia's life away from the pueblo (her parents also maintain a home in a nearby community), children won't get a solid sense of what it's like growing up in two worlds. But Ancona has included some fascinating descriptions of bread making and the pottery-making process (xe7 coma is renowned for its pottery), which fill out the book nicely.
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