From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–This fable begins at the marketplace, when a young father chooses a new basket for his family. Told from the point of view of the basket, the story proceeds as the baby boy grows up, the man's wife dies, and the son marries and has a family of his own. Through the years, the basket carries infants, crops, and even the woman's body to her grave; it becomes part of the family in a very fundamental way. At last, the father is a disabled old man and his son proposes to leave him at the temple so the priests will have to take care of him. The basket is consigned to carry him there, until the grandson intervenes with a haunting question that offers the moral of this traditional tale from Nepal. A quote from Kung Fu Tze in the sixth century B.C. opens the book: "What one wishes not upon oneself, one burdens not upon another." The simple text offers a splendid backdrop for the beautiful illustrations. Done in gouache, pastel, and collage, the pictures have graceful lines, subtle textures, and magnificent colors. With gold endpapers and gold edgings around each page, there's a timeless quality suited to the story. Lovely.–Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
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*Starred Review* K-Gr. 3. A doko
, a Nepalese basket designed to tote heavy loads, narrates Young's newest folktale retelling. "My master, Yeh-yeh, picked me from among many baskets," begins Doko, going on to describe the many things it has held: Yeh-yeh's new baby; the dowry of Yeh-yeh's son's wife; and later, Yeh-yeh's grandchild, Wangal. Eventually, Yeh-yeh's son uses Doko to carry Yeh-yeh, grown old and feeble, to the temple, where he will remain to be tended by priests. Only after clever, loving Wangal requests that his father bring Doko home from the temple ("to be used again when you are old and it is time to leave you
on the temple steps") do the awful ramifications of the plan leap into focus. Young emphasizes the story's parable-like qualities by combining simply stroked figures, flattened backgrounds, and gold embellishments that call forth Buddhist and Hindu sacred paintings. As increasing numbers of families anticipate in-home care for elderly relatives, parents will want to share this story's poignant message with their children. The book may also inspire students' recastings of familiar tales from unusual points of view. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved