CHILDREN OF CLAY by Rina Swentzell


A Family of Pueblo Potters
by & photographed by
Age Range: 8 - 12
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 A second excellent entry in the ``We Are Still Here'' series about contemporary Native Americans describes how four generations of an extended family work together to create the beautiful pottery for which New Mexico is famous. A family making an outing to dig clay in the mountains, where the children also play in a nearby stream and listen to a story told by matriarch Gia Rose; cleaning and preparing the clay; forming pots and both fanciful and traditional figures (young children are shown enjoying this, and even making salable items, from an early age); drying, polishing, decorating, and firing--Swentzell (a potter from Santa Clara Pueblo) explains that different members of the family participate at each stage, though ``the same people seldom do all the work.'' This is a more focused account than Regguinti's The Sacred Harvest (p.? ): there's no comment on the economic importance of pottery; also, more photos of the finished pots would have been welcome. Still, the color photos and clear text work well together in detailing a family's cooperative effort to continue this fine traditional craft. Glossary; further reading. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 23rd, 1992
ISBN: 0-8225-2654-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Lerner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1992


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