Kiki lives in Los Angeles, but her family is from the Tiwa tribe of the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, and she is visiting there for the first time since she was a baby. As Kiki experiences baking bread in an adobe oven, shares her family’s trust in the guidance of the Creator, and discovers a common bond with others in the Pueblo community, readers learn about her culture. Realistic acrylic paintings emphasize people and their environment with intense earth colors. The praying posture of Kiki and her mother conveys the wind’s powerful yet peaceful movement in harmony with the Red Road, a Native cultural attitude of responsibility and positive actions that is defined in the glossary. Border patterns of Pueblo and Plains tribal origin provide additional continuity between the clear, sequential text and evocative art, which together create an authentic work for use one-on-one or to foster classroom discussion about ethnic diversity and identity.
Kristy Orona-Ramirez (Taos Pueblo/Raramuri) is an award wining educator. She is a graduate of the Indian Teacher Personnel Program (ITEPP) at Humboldt State University and a recipient of the James Irvine and California Writing Project Fellowships. She currently teaches 7th grade English and History in California where she resides with her husband and four children.