Linda Gerdner gives us a colorful book that gives children a taste of the Hmong culture. It's the story of a young Hmong boy named Chersheng whose family now lives in the US, having fled their native Laos. Chersheng has noticed that his grandfather is forgetting things lately. That's because he's in the early stages of Alzheimer's. But his grandfather does still remember many things, and to help pass on his memories to his grandchildren, he has made a Hmong story cloth that shows scenes from his life back in Laos.
Naturally, there is a lot of pain in this book. But there's an unbreaking thread of hope and fortitude in how Chersheng comes to understand what's happening to his grandfather, and also comes to learn about his forebears. It inspires him to make his own story cloth to bring to school. Delicate watercolor images accompany each page of the story, which is told side-by-side in English and in Hmong. It's a treasure in many ways.
Rainbo Electronic Reviews published this review in our September, 2008 issue.
See our reviews of recent works from Shen's Books that you might enjoy:
See our current Children's Books reviews.