From award winning author Bill Richardson and highly acclaimed illustrator Slavka Kolesar comes a beautiful story about the love between a mother and daughter where a promise makes the perfect gift.
A stone when it’s thrown can damage, can break,
but nothing can shatter the promise I make.
So begins the poem a mother writes on a scrap of paper. She wraps the paper around a stone and places it in a basket to give to her daughter on her first birthday. They are poor, but the mother is determined that gifts will be given when gifts need giving. She keeps her promise, and the Promise Basket, too.
Every time there is a need for gifts, the mother finds a pretty stone to tie up with paper and ribbon, and gives it to her daughter in the basket. She continues the tradition over the years until her daughter has a baby of her own…
The love between a mother and her daughter is celebrated in this lyrical story from Bill Richardson, featuring colorful illustrations by Slavka Kolesar.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
In a "smaller than small" room, a woman lives with her baby. Although they are poor, the woman is "determined that gifts would be given when gifts needed giving," and on her daughter's first birthday, she compiles a package of found objects: a beautiful beach stone, "a dangle of ribbon," and a note pledging boundless love, all tucked into a reclaimed basket. With each year, the Promise Basket fills with stones and notes until the daughter leaves home and has a girl of her own. Grandmother's first gift? The Promise Basket, with a new pink stone and blank paper ready for the next generation's messages. Set "when the world was just a little... sweeter than it is today," this story by Richardson (The Bunny Band) begins on a note of idealized sentimentality. But with rhythm and repetition, the narrative mixes messages of unending maternal devotion with subtle allusions to life's challenges. Kolesar (debuting as an illustrator for an English-language title) beautifully echoes the story's shifting tones, balancing floral folk art motifs with potent symbolism. Whether brought to a baby shower or given to a graduate, this story of steadfast parent-child bonds may become a perennial gift favorite. Ages 6 9. \n