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The Basket Moon by Mary Lyn Ray
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The Basket Moon

by Mary Lyn Ray

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This account of a boy grows up in a basket-weaving community in the mountains of New York was brilliantly executed. It brought up the the concept of prejudice very briefly as the boy must endure taunting from the townsfolk of Hudson when he goes with his father to sell baskets, but throughout it emphasized the importance of family pride and community support. The characters were strong and gentle. Very nicely done. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
Teaches to work thru feelings ( )
  ederem | Jun 23, 2012 |
A sweet picture book about a boy who lives in the hills outside Hudson and watches his father work to make baskets. Every year, his father takes the baskets to barter, and every year, the boy is too young to go. He learns the secrets of the trade. Finally, after his ninth birthday, he is allowed to accompany his father to town. The boy is excited with the novelty of Hudson until he hears the taunts of the city dwellers. Their mean prejudice causes him to lose heart with the basket-making trade, but the soothing calls of the wind remind him of the heritage in his blood.

The voice of this book is quiet and peaceful, full of a young boy's love for his father and the nature that surrounds them. When the townspeople mock him and he responds in quiet despair, it is believable because it suits the slow flowing nature of the book and the boy. His triumph over prejudice is all inward. I liked this story as an understated tale of difference and acceptance, and I was heartened by the boy's decision to keep family tradition. The values presented have strength in the quiet presence of the story. ( )
  nmhale | Nov 15, 2010 |
This was a new book for me by one of my favorite illustrators, Barbara Cooney. This story takes place in the early 1800's. It portrays life in a rural setting. Here, the men are the ones who weave and fashion baskets to sell at the marketplace once a year. The young boy in this story watches the men work, he joins them and then one day he is old enough to accompany his Dad on the journey to town. This story reminded me of Cooney's Ox Cart Man. Both are similar in story line, but different in the palette of colors used for the illustrations. Ox Cart Man has an autumn feel with yellows, golds and browns. Basket Moon features lavendars, blues and silvery gray colors that evoke fog, mist, and the bare chill of approaching winter.
I liked this book as an adjunct to a study of Colonial America. I think it would be perfect for fourth graders. Discussion could follow after reading to talk or write about a comparison/contrast of life back then versus life today. ( )
  nancyjensen | May 10, 2010 |
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After hearing some men call his father and him hillbillies on his first trip into the nearby town of Hudson, a young boy is not so sure he still wants to become a basket maker.

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