Friday, July 23, 2010

24th July Sherry Garland

Sherry Garland's website confirms that today is her birthday. She doesn't reveal the year. She is an American author and as the only two books of hers that I know have Vietnamese content or settings, I incorrectly assumed that she was either Vietnamese or had lived in Vietnam. Not so, as I found out. In the FAQ part of her website she explains why seven of her twenty seven books have Vietnamese content - Seven of my twenty-seven books are about the Vietnamese culture. I befriended many Vietnamese families when I lived in Houston. They taught me about their culture and I was so fascinated that I did a lot of research. I even traveled to Vietnam. It is a beautiful and fascinating country.

The two books with Vietnamese content that we have in our library are The Lotus Seed, a story about a girl's grandmother who came to America from Vietnam bringing lotus seeds with her. This book is wonderful for looking at family traditions and relationships, the effects of emigration on families and their hopes for the future. There are several units of work on the web for this book if you are looking for lesson plans. The story is made even better by Tatsuro Kiuchi's illustrations. This was this Japanese illustrator's first book, but he has since won awards for other artwork. The other, Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam, is a collection of six folktales with beautiful illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman.

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