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In My Mother's House
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In My Mother's House

2.84  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Told through the eyes of children, this collection of Pueblo Indian poems has been used in classrooms, reading programs, and with parents and children since it was first published in 1941. "A perfect picture book."--The Horn Book. A Caldecott Honor Book. Full-color and black-and-white illustrations.
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published by Viking Children's Books (first published 1941)
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Community Reviews

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So. Native American stories told by non-Native Americans are problematic. I have read enough of Debbie Reese's blog to take the text with a grain of salt, as the author was a white woman who worked at an Indian school. While she professed to having written this because she believed the children's stories needed to be told, a better course of action today may be to help the children write their own stories rather than taking them.

HOWEVER, the illustrator of the book, to whom the Caldecott was aw
Katie Foster
Feb 08, 2014 Katie Foster rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This book is the most unique poetry book I've read. The entire book is all about an Indian describing the homes, customs, work, community, and spiritual sense of his people. So there are different poems in this book, but they all correlate to the theme of getting to know about his culture. It's also unique in the sense that absolutely none of the poems rhyme. However, they are full of imagery and figurative language. I would consider it a narrative form of poetry since the entire book tells this ...more
Eh. Another story told "from the native american perspective" though written by a non-native. Not hideous, but also not great.
The dust jacket notes that the Clark found "there was a need in the Indian schools for books written from the Indian point of view."
Dec 02, 2016 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Finally getting a chance to enjoy this.

The poems are certainly creative - I think they're more songs, as they definitely call to be read aloud. And the cadence, which I can't quite capture, is probably easy for the Native speakers, natural in their language. It sounds similar to the monologues of Laughing Boy, a classic (for YA or adult) with a very similar setting.

The only improvement that I would ask of the book is for more white space... I kept reading straight through to the next poem becau
Aug 28, 2015 Josiah rated it it was ok
The story doesn't pop with scintillating action, but In My Mother's House is a sturdy nonfiction picture book with a lot to offer readers curious about Native American life of the era in which it is set. Coupled with sweet, simple drawings by Velino Herrera, some in full color and others etched in black and white, Ann Nolan Clark's poems of Indian life are sincere and revealing, a valuable look at the way their communities operated. From page one, the respectful attitude the young narrator show ...more
Nov 21, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
The book contained a series of 29 poems about the Pueblo people, as told through the viewpoint of a Pueblo child. They talk about the child's home that he/she lives in and that his parents built themselves, the things they eat and grow, their community and work. My favorite poems were "Juniper," "Lakes," and "Indian Tea." There were black and white illustrations as well as color, which I believe were paintings. My favorite ones were the horse pictures, as there were so many different kinds of ...more
Sierra Chavez
Jan 22, 2012 Sierra Chavez rated it liked it
I think this book was great. It is about a little boy who starts off by telling a story about his house and about his mother and what she contributes to the household. Then he talks about the plaza which is the place in the center of the pueblos. He talks about what each person does, especially his father. The story continues about how each little thing around him contributes to be apart of his everyday life. In the end he talks about how "the pueblo, the people, and fire, and fields, and water, ...more
Jan 18, 2014 SamZ rated it liked it
Shelves: caldecott
A Caldecott honor book from 1942, this story was not what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised to find a children's book about the Native American people of the southwest and their ways of life. I loved the illustrations. They ranged from stylized designs meant to imitate the patterns found on the blankets and pottery of the region to realistic depictions of the plants, animals, and people that made up the every day life of the pueblo children. This book was beautiful and I found myself ...more
Dec 02, 2016 Beverly rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
The illustrations in this book did complement the poems well, but I simply was not that impressed with them. The illustrator seems to have taken care to depict the Pueblo people accurately, but I thought the illustrations were just average compared to the work of other illustrators that I have seen. The black and white drawings were not as detailed as the works of such illustrators as Robert Lawson, Robert McCloskey, Trina Schart Hyman, and Chris Van Allsburg. The color paintings seemed a bit ...more
Jan 14, 2012 Lorna rated it liked it
1942 Caldecott Honor

Favorite illustration: p. 19 The rain dancers

Favorite line: Mountains are the high places; they reach up and up/To the blue-blue above.

Kid-appeal: I think this could be effectively used in conjunction with a Native American social studies unit, perhaps reading selected passages. The chances of a child grabbing this unsolicited off the shelf are probably pretty low though.
Feb 07, 2013 Paul rated it liked it
I wish I had had this collection of verse about the everyday life of Pueblo Indians on our trip through the Southwest - it would have helped evoke more from the text and illustrations. The book is subdivided into sections about specific animals, plants, terrain, buildings, etc. The illustrations are precise but still carry some feeling and help carry the verse.
**** Caldecott Honor (1942) ****

Apparently this book was created as a reading book for Indian children... The dust jacket notes that the author, Ann Nolan Clark found "there was a need in the Indian schools for books written from the Indian point of view." In that respect, I can see it having some value. I don't think it will appeal to modern children quite so much, but it's not bad.
Jul 02, 2012 Samantha rated it it was ok
A collection of Pueblo Indian poems about people, land, animals etc. Illustrations are simple, some are full color, most are black and white. The pictures reminded me of textbook illustrations; they performed the task at hand, but weren't amazing. The writing was good, though I wonder if it comes from a personal experience or rather from an observational outsider standpoint.
Stephanie Allen
This book visualizes Mexican culture through poetry. The narrator discusses everything from wildlife and farming to his home and culture. This book could be used to introduce Mexican culture to a classroom but I would recommend it to upper grades due to the intricate phrasing.
Jan 09, 2012 Ed rated it liked it
Shelves: nerdcott-2012
Very entertaining book, and quite informational. Like many books of this era, the illustrations are mostly black and white, with a few color images. I think the color illustrations are fantastic, and even the black and white ones are well done.
Megan Willis
-beautiful poetry written by the Tewa children of the Tesuque Pueblo
-illuminates and informs about the traditional and modern lifestyle
-copies of poems for center during Native American unit
Dec 06, 2010 Tina rated it really liked it
This is a book full of diagrams and illustrations combined to enhance the poetry that gives an insight into the world of the Tewa children of Tesuque Pueblo, near Santa Fe.
Apr 18, 2016 Molly rated it liked it
This is a collection of poems about Pueblo Indian life. I thought they were nice, but especially enjoyed the illustrations which were done by an actual Pueblo Indian unlike the text.
Laura Hoyler
Jul 15, 2016 Laura Hoyler rated it liked it
Shelves: caldecott-awards
The book of poems was supposed to be compiled from poems written by Native Indian children. It would have been nice to have their names in the book with their poem.
Apr 15, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Beautiful poetry and pictures! My daughter and I read it together and loved it. It captures the essence of living in a Pueblo. Highly recommended!
Katie Fitzgerald
Read for #nerdcott. Reviewed in Caldecott Challenge Post #2:
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Caldecott Honor - 1942 - Sometimes I still wonder how a book was selected for a caldecott or caldecott honor. Illustrations seemed okay but not "wow".
Dec 30, 2011 John rated it liked it
Caldecott Honor, 1942

Favorite illustration: page 39

Favorite line:

We are the people
Living together,
All of us together.

We live here,
In the houses,
In the plaza
Abigail rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2016
Francesca Lipari
Francesca Lipari rated it it was ok
Apr 02, 2015
Sarah rated it it was ok
Apr 16, 2008
Mckalyn Richer
Mckalyn Richer rated it liked it
Oct 29, 2013
Katie rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2014
David rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2012
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