The Village Basket Weaver by Jonathan London takes place in a quaint Carib village in Belize. This is a touching story about young boy, Tavio, and his aging abuelo (grandfather), Carpio. Tavio spends time watching his grandfather work on weaving a basket used for preparing cassava bread (a bread native to Belize) and starts to realize that his grandfather is not as strong as he once was. At the same time abuelo wonders who will carry on this important Garifuna cultural tradition of basket weaving, since all the young boys in the town are leaving to find jobs in the city. The interesting characters in this story (of African and Carib Indian decent) have done a good job of preserving their cultural but they face increasing pressure from the industrial world to become more modernized.
How I would use this book:
∙ Unit on the importance of preserving culture/ embracing where we come from and who we are.
∙ Unit about breads from different countries
∙ A unit about the Caribbean and/or people from South America
Domains of Social Justice: 1) Self love and acceptance: Children learn to appreciate their own culture and the importance of preserving it. 2) Respect for Others: Children can learn about a culture that is very different from their own. 4) Social Movements and Social Change: Children see how cultures are being pressured to change due to globalization.