PORNADA by Mary Francis Shura


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Portraits of artists--as a young boy, an adult Gem-Finder, and. . . a pig? As a friendly gesture, daydreamy Francisco helps a man reload his pigs onto a truck, and the driver, noticing that one pig is missing, gives the for-nothing (por nada) animal to the boy. The pig, he explains as they find him nuzzling a prickly pear, ""thinks he is an artist"": he likes to watch the moon climb through the Mexican sky and see the stars crown the mountain peaks--just like Francisco, as it tums out. Boy gets job to finance feeding a new mouth in the family, and continues with his painting; he would let friend Guido the Gem-Finder house the porky but Guido's out looking for jade. Accidentally, the boy's pictures begin to sell, and these funds see the family through the winter--which changes Papa's attitude about art and artists. When Guido returns after an unsuccessful expedition, the boy shows him some of his paintings; Pornada's favorite misty place is, haply, the legendary site the Gem-Finder has been looking for. Pomada leads them to his find and the shared profits should support them all, and put Francisco through art school. Interesting to begin with (although kids won't catch all the innuendoes), but the resolution is artifically neat and the woodcuts are too indigenous art-y (translate: ugly to kids).

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1968
Publisher: Atheneum