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.
Pegi Deitz Shea visited Ban Vinai, the refugee camp in Thailand where this story is set. She is the author of Bungalow Fungalow and lives in Rockville, Connecticut.
Anita Riggio is the author-illustrator of several books, including A Moon in My Teacup and Beware the Brindlebeast, both published by Boyds Mills Press. She lives in Wethersfield, Connecticut.
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