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I, Doko: The Tale of a Basket
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I, Doko: The Tale of a Basket

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Doko is only a simple basket. It is not only grain from the field that he carries--he has also carried his master's child, and wood for the fire. He was there when the child became a man and married. And he very nearly had to carry the grandfather away forever. Luckily, someone wise beyond their years spoke up and made it possible for Doko to carry the grandfather home ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 4th 2004 by Philomel
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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  93 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Liza Wiemer
Very powerful message about respect for ones elders and the love of a grandchild for his grandfather. The story is told from the POV of a basket that carries a family through life's many cycles. I was deeply touched.
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-books
It's a fable told from the point of view of a basket. The moral kind of comes out of nowhere, but the narrator is a woven basket, so what do you expect?

Some of the illustrations took my breath away, others are just weird.

If you like stories about baskets, from baskets, this is the book for you, I guess.
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I, Doko/ Ed Young/ 2004
Genre: folklore
Format: picture book
Plot Summary: A Nepalese basket tells the story of its use through three generations of a family.
Considerations: no red flag
Review Citation: School Library Journal, vol 50, issue 11, p120

"Told from the point of view of the basket, the story proceeds as the baby boy grows up, the man's wife dies, and the son marries and has a family of his own. Through the years, the basket carries infants, crops, and even the woman's body to her grave; it
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
Young's creation with gouache, pastel and collage sparkles with light as the story is told from the vantage point of the doko or basket; even the reflection of a child in the eyes of his father at the end of the book are luminescent. The basket straddles generations, whether in carrying a child, kindling, a wife who did not survive a drought, the dowry of a new bride, grain, and for a moment at the end of the book the now-elderly man who began the story was a baby in the basket. The basket ...more
NS - Cami Houston
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The basket has a voice. With the setting of the story in China, the basket lives through generations of work in the fields, and of carrying babies, harvest, and the elderly to the temple steps when they become burdens. When the young boys grandfather is about to be carried to the temple and the basket discarded by his father, the boy cries and pleads to save the basket so he would have something to carry his own father in when he is elderly. This realization brings tears to the father's eyes and ...more
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
A creative folk tale that follows the life of a basket as it passes through the generations of a Nepalese family. I enjoyed the story but it was the illustrations that stand out as superb in my mind. Young's perfect combination of colors is present in all of the book's images, and I love the way that he gives the basket personality on every page.
Megan Hornberger
The story took a whole different turn from what I anticipated. Somehow the story of the life of a basket becomes a moral of how to treat grandparents. In the end the story doesn't flow well or make much sense.
Emma (Miss Print)
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Great illustrations in Young's unique style but . . . everyone dies and an old man is almost abandoned.
Amy Layton
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
This was such an interesting book in terms of perspective and in terms of content! Firstly, the narrative is told in first person (from the basket's perspective), yet the illustrations serve a third person's perspective. And it's so cool. Of course, I always think Ed Young is the master of super cool stories that go straight to your heart, but this story is one that I won't easily forget, especially with its themes surrounding family, age, and time.

Review cross-listed here!
Matt Miles
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a meaningful fable about how to treat others and how to reconsider our own sense of value; the beautiful illustrations add shades of pathos and humanity. Highly recommended for readers of all ages.
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I, Doko is a beautiful book about a basket in Nepal who takes care of a boy from birth to old age. A touching story about Nepal village life. Loved this story and Ed Young.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good book, but definitely too heavy for storytime.
Haley Hoenke
Social Studies, Asia, Napal
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2013, childrens, nepal
This is an interesting tale about life in a rural area, told from the perspective of a basket. The author mentions that the story is based on a Nepalese folktale, but that it's a story that has been passed down "in the oral vernacular" in other countries, too.

The narrative is engaging and tells of the ups and downs, joys and sorrows of a family. The gouache, pastel, and collage illustrations are stunning and complement the story very nicely. We really enjoyed reading this book together.

Lauren Brown
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book was okay. It was not one of my favorites. I had a hard time reading the story from the baskets point of view. I would of rather the story be told about the basket. I had to read it twice before I actually understood what happened. It was about a basket that has been with this family through generations. It has carried all kinds of things for the family including their children. In the end it carries the grandpa back home so that he would live and not be left at the temple to starve. I ...more
Breanna Shofner
I, Doko is a fable told from the point of view of a basket. The basket speaks on everything it sees around it generation after generation. The moral of this story deeply surrounds the importance of paying respect to elders.

I would use this book along with others to explain the types of stories. This book could also be used to show a different culture. It would be a good example for students to see that people from this culture show love by passing on items.
Sandy Brehl
Ed Young's interpretation of a Nepalese traditional tale is told through the voice of a basket, an essential and utilitarian member of the village family in the story."What one wishes NOT upon oneself, one burdens NOT upon another" is messaage from the sixth century B.C that precedes the story's launch. This offers a rich opening to related tales and traditions from other cultures and invites discussion about the universality of the golden rule.
Apr 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Told from the perspective of the basket, or doko, this story chronicles the life of a family through three generations culminating in a moment when a son must choose between what his village tells him to do and what he knows is right. It is great for a lesson in ancient cultures.
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: folk-tale, family, respect
I really liked the lesson in this book and the way the story is told. Doko means basket in Nepalese. I, Doko is first-hand account of a baskets passing from generation to next using an interesting point of view. The basket being very old recognizes the value and respect that our elders deserve.
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
What one wishes not upon himself, one burdens not upon another. -------
Kung Fu Tze. Sixth Century B.C.

Beautiful book with gorgeous illustrations with an important lesson to learn, from a basket at that!
A heartwarming tale about a basket and its life through three generations among a family.
Brenda Cregor
May 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is personification go awry.
I wanted to care...but I didn't.

I wonder how many children it captivates.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This tale from Nepal emphasizes respect for one's elders.
Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
This story follows three generations of a family as told from the perspective of a basket that has been useful to them.

The art was rendered in gouache, pastel, and collage.
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very popular with my Nepali students.
Katrina Smith
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Written from perspective of the basket (doko). Good for discussing narrative perspective, aging, tradition and family.
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
for older readers
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great children's book that reflects Nepalese culture through both values and art.
rated it liked it
Sep 21, 2014
rated it liked it
May 24, 2010
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Ed Young is the illustrator of more than eighty books for children, seventeen of which he has also written. Among his books is the Caldecott Medal winner Lon Po Po, which he both wrote and illustrated. He says that his work is inspired by the philosophy of Chinese painting. He lives in Westchester County, New York.