About the Author and Illustrator
Reading Is Fundamental’s 2012 / 2013 Multicultural Collection
Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices
In KUNU’S BASKET, by Lee DeCora Francis, young Kunu wants to make a pack basket on his own. He’s watched his dad and his grandfather make baskets on Indian Island, but now that he’s trying to make one for himself, it’s not as easy as he thought it would be. Kunu isn’t a quitter, but he gets so frustrated that he has to go outside to cool off. When his grandfather asks Kunu to help him with some basket-making tasks, Kunu comes to understand that it is the tradition in his family for one generation to help the next. He also learns that it might take several tries before he gets it right. Can he be patient enough to try again and again? His grandfather shows him the way, and at last Kunu’s first basket is something to celebrate. There aren’t many picture books about contemporary Native American children. Lee Francis has shaped a story that gives Native children a mirror that reflects their modern life but also explores themes common to all children: difficulty attempting a new task; wanting to do something ‘by myself’; and having to be patient to try again and again before getting it right. Susan Drucker’s gentle illustrations pair beautifully with this family story set on Indian Island.