Five American Masters of Traditional Arts
by & photographed by
Age Range: 9 - 14
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Each of the five people profiled in this fascinating collection has won a National Heritage Fellowship, but young readers probably won’t care about that. What they will be mesmerized by is the work they do. Qi Shu Fang performs Beijing Opera in New York City, and in both photos and text readers can see the layers of makeup, the heavy costumes and a glimpse into an almost unknown art form. Ralph Stanley has built boats by hand in Maine for decades; Eva Castellanoz, now of Oregon, has made a career out of creating the beautiful wax and paper flowers and flower crowns for Mexican weddings, baptisms and burials. Dorothy Trumphold, of a small Lutheran sect in Iowa, weaves stunningly patterned rag rugs, and “Tootie” Montana, who, alas, died last year, partnered with his wife to make the extraordinary feathered and beaded costumes of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Govenar tells their stories simply, using mostly their own words, making a great tapestry of images with the multitude of color pictures. A fine nonfiction collection, marred only by its rather odd title. (bibliography) (Nonfiction/collective biography. 9-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7636-2047-5
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2006