CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 20 . . . . January 25, 2013
Kunu is a young Penobscot boy who is frustrated with his own attempts at making a pack basket, a craft that his family is known for making on Indian Island. Kunu's grandfather takes him under his wing to help him learn the steps required for creating baskets, as well as to show him the importance of passing down knowledge and family traditions. Through sharing tales of his own learning experiences as a child and the use of constant encouragement, Kunu's grandfather guides Kunu in the creation of his first successful basket.
In Kunu's Basket, readers are introduced to a Penobscot tradition while reading about a grandson's determination and perseverance to master a family-valued skill of basket weaving. This story demonstrates the value of intergenerational relationships, the passing on of family rituals, and the use of encouragement when children are demonstrating the desire to learn new skills and follow in their parents' footsteps. The story's slower pace and frequent mentions of breaks in the building process parallel the underlying message regarding the importance of patience while learning new skills.
This story is charmingly and realistically illustrated with the use of watercolour and pencil. The depiction of animals interacting with the traditional baskets throughout Kunu's learning process adds lightness and humour to the story.
Kunu's Basket gives readers an updated view into the life of contemporary American Indians. This book would be a valuable addition to a library's collection as it may familiarize children regarding traditions and cultures that are not their own.
Meredith Harrison-Lim is a MLIS graduate working for the Federal Government in the National Capital Region.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.