Circle Unbroken

Circle Cover

Year Published: 2004
Written by: Margot Theis Raven
Illustrated by: E.B. Lewis

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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.