MALI UNDER THE NIGHT SKY by Youme

MALI UNDER THE NIGHT SKY

A Lao Story of Home
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

Malichansouk Kouanchao is a Laotian-American artist, but once upon a time she was a child living through difficult times. Her life seemed idyllic, portrayed in spring-hued watercolors surrounded by intricately designed borders. The simple text describes the little girl playing in rice paddies, cooking spicy food and attending weddings, where the custom was to tie ceremonial strings around relatives’ wrists to seal familial love. Then the story and the paintings grow darker. The Lao people endured civil war and American bombings, and many faced political persecution, though the text does not explicitly say why or when Mali’s family fled. Lao words are sprinkled throughout the text, almost as a poetic refrain, and these words in Lao script appear in dialogue bubbles in the corresponding double-page spreads. In a unique touch, the Lao numbers appear on each page. This biographical account is presented as a story rather than as a piece of nonfiction, and as such, it's not quite as compelling as it might have been with more specific details. A note from Mali and an essay by Thavisouk Phrasavath at the end help provide some context. (Picture book. 4-7) 

 

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-933693-68-2
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Cinco Puntos
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2010




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