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This must be the “bible” of Mexican papier-mâché sculptures, which are known as “cartonería.” Everyone is familiar with these delightful sculptures, especially through piñatas. Some artisans have taken their medium to new levels, though, raising their work to the level of collectible folk-art. Even as fine art, their work seems to often revolve around parties, festivals, and gatherings of all kinds. A sense of delight is felt in many of theses sculptures, and that joy pervades the book. It must be the ultimate guide to their work and more.

It begins with an introduction to papier-mâché, including an explanation of how it is often done. An extensive history follows, explaining how it came to Mexico and spread as an important element of Mexican culture. Collectors, gallery owners, and other artists will welcome the rest of the book. It focuses on the leading cartonería sculptors throughout the past century — on up through today.

It’s all amazing and eye-opening. The book itself is printed in full color, with plentiful photos throughout. The binding is top-notch, as good as any textbook. Each page includes similar text in English and Spanish. This is clearly a labor of love and a monumental work on this important expression of joy and the artistic impulse from our friends across the border.

These are top-quality greeting cards, with photos by Celia Pearson from the book Pure Sea Glass by Richard LaMotte. They come in a lovely box/case, with a ribbon loop/tab to pull out the “drawer” from its sleeve. The printing is lovely with nice photos of each of the four photos. The exterior of each card is covered with a satin finish — a real coating — making the card feel upscale and pleasant to hold.

The card stock is quite thick and top-quality. The interior is blank and unfinished so I can write easily inside the cards. The envelopes are also high quality, with an elegant design that includes a horizontal flap that looks very nice. Really well-made greeting cards, well-suited to any occasion, including giving the set itself as a nice gift.