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“…The stitched pictures in folk-art style distance the brutality, both showing and telling that art can be a powerful force…” –Booklist

The Whispering Cloth

Written by Pegi Deitz Shea
Illustrated by Anita Riggio
Published by Boyd Mill Press

Mai spends her days at the Widows’ Store, listening to the Hmong women as they stitch and talk, stitch and talk. They are making pa’ndau—brightly colored story cloths–which they sell to the traders from Chiang Khan. Mai wishes she, too, could make one of the beautiful pa’ndau, but what story could she tell? This moving and poignant tale depicts life in a refugee camp in Thailand. Mai lives there with her grandmother, who helps her as she struggles to perfect her stitchery. Only by going back into her own brief and tragic past can she find a story to tell–one of hope and faith in the midst of war and confinement. Anita Riggio has rendered lush and sensitive watercolors that frame the story. You Yang, a Hmong immigrant, has stitched the pa’ndau that tell Mai’s tale.

Primary ISBN:

Available As: Paperback
Picture Book, Age 06 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , ,

Setting: Thailand

Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: Refugee

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