Jeanette Winter Josefina

ISBN 13: 9780152010911

Josefina

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Count along in English and Spanish with a Mexican folk artist as she sculpts her world from clay. Inspired by Josefina Aguilar, an artist who continues to create painted clay figures in the village of Ocotlán, Mexico, this colorful tale is profound in its beauty and simplicity. “Winter is a true original, and [this] work gives further proof of her talent.”--Publishers Weekly

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About the Author:

JEANETTE WINTER has written and illustrated many books for children, including MAMA, The Librarian of Basra, Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book, My Name Is Georgia, and Josefina. She lives in New York City.

Review:

In an expertly polished picture book, Winter (Shaker Boy) tale submerges a counting lesson within a tour of a foreign country. The author/artist imagines a day in the life of Josefina Aguilar, a real-life Mexican folk artist who makes and sells painted clay figures in a small village. Winter's Josefina sculpts the figurines in groups ("windows and doors in three clay houses, to let the sun shine in"; "six babies for six mamas to hold," etc.), and the action builds toward a grand finale, with Josefina displaying her day's work as a deft count-down brings the story full circle. Readers will reinforce their command of numbers and get a taste of Mexican culture, too-all without a whiff of didacticism. As a writer, Winter has a finely tuned sense of control: as an artist, her style is unmistakable-earthy, stylized, and color-saturated, a study in daring but harmonious color combinations (pairings such as the deep plum costumes of a mariachi band set against a melon sunset fairly leap off the pages). Winter is a true original, and her latest work gives further proof of her talent. Ages 4-8. (Publishers Weekly )

PreSchool-Grade 2 -In simple words and charming pictures, Winter gives an outline of the life of Josefina Aguilar, a maker of pottery figures who lives in Ocotlan, Mexico. The author follows this narrative with a counting story describing Josefina's creation of a pottery world, beginning with one sun and going through increasing numbers of angels, houses, flower sellers, farmers, mamas and babies, mariachis, mourners, skeletons, and, finally, 10 stars. The acrylic paintings are drenched in the rich colors of Mexican folk art; they portray Josefina and her family as solid shapes much like her pottery figures. In the counting section, she is shown on the left-hand page shaping and painting the objects, while the finished creations are shown on the opposite page, with the numeral and a caption in Spanish as part of the border. The final accumulation is a double-page spread full of joyful and sorrowful figures, dancing skeletons, and a benign red sun looking on. It is obvious that Winter knows and loves Mexico, and this is a wonderful tribute to a woman artisan. No matter how many counting books a library owns, there should be a place for this one. Pam Gosner, Maplewood Memorial Library, NJ (School Library Journal )

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Jeanette Winter
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