Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
by Laban Hill & Bryan Collier


In Dave the Potter, stunning illustrations and evocative, lyrical free verse poetry tells the inspiring story of a 19th century slave named Dave who had tremendous talent and skill in pottery. In addition to telling Dave's personal story, readers watch as Dave does step involved in making a piece of pottery.

School Library Journal called the book "outstanding in every way." We agree but it's not the story that drew us in; it's Collier's illustrations! 

This book's FULL of great curriculum ties, such as:
      art: shows the many different steps in the process of making pottery
      language arts: this story is written in free verse...plus there's Dave's poetry
      character education: this story touches on ambition and overcoming obstacles
      American history: Dave's story shows the strength and resolve that slaves had to possess
      (although life as a slave is not central to the book)

This book has won numerous prestigious children's book awards, including:
     * Caldecott 2011 Honor Book
     * Coretta Scott King Best Illustrator Award 2011
     * National Council for Teachers of English's Orbis Pictus Outstanding Nonfiction Award


Interest Level: K-Gr 4           Grade Equivalent: 9.4               Lexile Level: 1100L

See Inside Dave the Potter

Below are sample spreads. Collier's illustrations mix watercolor and collage and the result is brilliant. You'll find yourself staring at each page and watching new elements pop out. The collage elements often have a pattern that add depth and meaning to the overall illustration.


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