Children and New Mexico

$19.95 hardcover

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The Eyes of the Weaver: Los Ojos del Tejedor

Cristina Ortega
Illustrated by Patricio Garcia

Cristina Ortega is the granddaughter of Juan Melquiades Ortega, a master weaver of northern New Mexico's Chimayó Valley. Chimayó's roots are
in early Spanish Colonial times and has long been famous for its unique weavings.

Juan M. Ortega was taught to weave by his father in the early days when weavers sheared their own sheep and spun and dyed the wool for their blankets. El Tejedor (The Weaver) continued weaving until he was one hundred years old, when his eyesight failed him.

In The Eyes of the Weaver, Cristina shares her memories of visits when she was ten years old with Grandpa in the village of Chimayó, where he taught her how to weave. She also recalls how Grandma helped her husband choose color combinations for his Chimayó blankets. It was during these visits that Cristina learned how important it is for a child to listen to and learn from his or her relatives.

Some of Juan M. Ortega's weavings and tools of the trade have been included in the exhibit, "American Encounters," at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution,
in Washington, D.C.

Reading level: 10 years and up


Cristina Ortega has taught elementary school in New Mexico for twenty-five years.

Patricio E. Garcia exhibited in a one-artist show at the Governor's Gallery in Santa Fe.


"Throughout the story, Christina learns values many adults have yet to learn, such as the importance of spending time with one's elders, patience and the beauty of heritage. Reading The Eyes of the Weaver aloud to a child is a fabulous way to teach self esteem and bilingual skills."


The Las Cruces Bulletin, NM

" The Eyes of the Weaver captures the magic between master weaver Juan Melquiades Ortega and his granddaughter, Cristina Ortega."


Pueblo Chieftain, CO

"(A) lovely bilingual story...Patricio Garcia's gorgeous, textured pastel illustrations evoke Chimayo's bare beauty and its textures inside and out."


Denver Post

"This is a wonderful story to share with your children or grandchildren..."


Roundup Magazine

"Readers will be thoroughly enchanted by the author's portrayal of her real-life grandfather, whose quiet and loving encouragement is conveyed with great tenderness. Garcia's beautiful oil pastels brim with cozy luminescence and inviting southwestern warmth."


Bloomsbury Review

" The Eyes of the a treasure of heritage and story, richly illustrated by the evocative pastels of the late Patricio Garcia."


Santa Fe New Mexican

8 x 10 in. 64 pages 39 color plates