Etched in Clay

By Horn Book Magazine

Readers familiar with Laban Carrick Hill and Bryan Collier’s 2011 Caldecott Honor–winning picture book Dave the Potter will appreciate Cheng’s interpretation of the man’s life story. Historical record leaves much unknown about this real person, a slave living in South Carolina who learned how to mold clay and became a fine potter. Through alternating perspectives (Dave; partners in the pottery business; the slave master; a woman who may have been Dave’s wife; children he’s teaching) and in spare free verse, Cheng sets the stage for Dave’s personal stand against injustice. . . . Silhouette-like woodcuts enhance the presentation. A selection of Dave’s writings is appended, and source notes are included.