The Pot That Juan Built

By Nancy Andrews-Goebel
Illustrated by David Diaz

Paperback: $10.95

Six Pack: $65.70

Juan Quezada is the premier potter in Mexico. With local materials and the primitive methods of the Casas Grandes people — including using human hair to make brushes and cow manure to feed the flames that fire his pots — Juan creates stunning pots in the traditional style. Each is a work of art unlike any other.

This is the pot that Juan built.
These are the flames so sizzling hot
That flickered and flared and fired the pot,
The beautiful pot that Juan built.

The text is written in the form of "The House That Jack Built" and accompanied by a comprehensive afterword with photos and information about Juan's technique as well as a history of Mata Ortiz, the northern Mexican village where Juan began and continues to work. This celebratory story tells how Juan's pioneering work has transformed Mata Ortiz from an impoverished village into a prosperous community of world-renowned artists.

With vibrant illustrations by Caldecott Medal winner David Diaz, The Pot that Juan Built is sure to enlighten all who are fascinated by traditional art forms, Mexican culture, and the power of the human spirit to find inspiration from the past.

Check out Mexican Pottery art activity, made by Crayola® Creativity Central.

Activity: Make Your Own Clay Pot

About the Creators

Thumb_thumb Nancy Andrews-Goebel - Author

met Juan Quezada in 1995 while on vacation in Mexico. Fascinated by his work and inspired by his wonderful spirit, she and her husband co-produced a documentary entitled Mata Ortiz Pottery: An Inside Look. The Pot That Juan Built is her first book. Andrews-Goebel and her husband live in the northern California town of Cayucos.

Thumb_thumb David Diaz

won the Caldecott Medal in 1995 for Smoky Night. He is the illustrator of many other popular children's books as well, including December, Roadrunner's Dance, Going Home, and Wilma Unlimited. Diaz is also an accomplished potter, and he has sold his work to collectors throughout the country. He lives in Carlsbad, California.

About This Title


Paperback: 9781600608483

Hardcover: 9781584300380

Six Pack: 9781600608506


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Guided Reading:




Interest Level:

Grades 1 - 6

Reading Level:

Grades 2 - 3


Colors, Nonfiction, Sharing & Giving, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Poetry, Occupations, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican Interest, Imagination, History, Environment/Nature, Dreams & Aspirations, Art, Leadership, Optimism/Enthusiasm, Persistence/Grit, Pride, Mexico, Poverty

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