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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
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****The Pot That Juan Built

by Nancy Andrews-Goebel

pictures by David Diaz

Reviewed February 17, 2003.
Lee & Low Books, New York,  2002.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (J 738.092 AND)
A 2004 Pura Belpré Honor Book for Illustration.

It was hard to decide where to shelve this book.  The simple, cumulative text made it seem to fit with the picture books.  For example:  “This is the brush of hair from his head / That spread the paints of black and red / That colored the pot for all to admire / Before it was baked in the cow manure fire, / The crackling flames so sizzling hot / That flickered and flared and fired the pot, / The beautiful pot that Juan built.”

However, on each facing page to the poetry, there is a factual explanation of that step in the process that Juan Quezada uses to make his beautiful pottery.  At the end of the book, five pages of text and photographs explain how his pottery made with traditional methods is made and has transformed the lives of the people in his village by giving them a valuable trade.  In the end, I had to shelve it in nonfiction with the art books.

Be sure to look for it on the back wall so you and your children can marvel over this centuries-old method of making beautiful pots.
Review of another book illustrated by David Diaz:
Wilma Unlimited 

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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