Keeping the African heritage alive
As she teaches her granddaughter to sew a traditional sweetgrass basket, a grandmother weaves a story, going back generations to her old-timey grandfather's village in faraway Africa. There, as a boy, he learned to make baskets so tightly woven they could hold the rain. Even after being stolen away to a slave ship bound for America, he remembers what he learned and passes these memories on to his children - as they do theirs, so that
. . . when your fingers talk just right
that circle will go out and out again -
past slavery and freedom, old ways and new,
and your basket will hold the past . . .
This powerful picture book, with its rhythmic text and evocative paintings, spirals through time, becoming a triumphant song - a rich story of a craft, a culture, and a people.