Picture Book Party Spring 2019
PBParty 6: Strong Hands, OV Bio
Strong Hands: The Story of Young Potter Maria Povika Martinez
OV Bio
Word Count:

Dear Michelle, Sharon, and Mindy,

Thank you for considering our picture book biography, STRONG HANDS: THE STORY OF YOUNG POTTER MARIA POVIKA MARTINEZ.

When young Maria grew tired of seeing her clay dishes crumble she sought help from her aunt Nicolasa, the best potter in San Ildefonso Pueblo. With hard work and practice her hands and her pots grew strong. In time her beautiful pottery was discovered by the world, and Maria Povika Martinez became one of the most famous Native American Indians of her day. STRONG HANDS: THE STORY OF YOUNG POTTER MARIA POVIKA MARTINEZ is a 1000 word picture book biography of a strong Native American Indian woman and artist for children ages 5-10.

Barbara Gonzales is a Native American Indian potter and the great grand-daughter of Maria Povika Martinez. She is also a writer with a degree in Education living in San Ildefonso Pueblo. Her writing has been published in magazines and newspapers and she lectures at colleges and art centers throughout the country. She makes her own unique pottery based on the style she learned from Maria, whom she lived with as a child. She is involved in many organizations and presently serves on the board of San Ildefonso Pueblo LLC.

I have degrees in Art and Education. My first book, LOVE YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING, (Sterling Publishing, 2014) was nominated for a CLEL Bell award. I’m an Elementary Art teacher, and was inspired to write this book as a way for my students to learn about pottery techniques and diverse cultures from this important woman artist.

Thank you for your consideration.



Maria grew up surrounded by clay. It was in the hard earth under her deerskin untōhs, in the thick adobe walls of her Pueblo home, and in the clay jars that held her water. One day she would become the most famous Native American Indian potter in the world.
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This contest entry was posted on Wednesday, 27 March 2019.