Today I want to introduce The Whispering Cloth: a refugee's story by Pegi Deitz Shea and illustrated by Anita Riggio. Some of the illustrations are stitched in the Hmong storycloth style by You Yang. This story is set in a refugee camp in Thailand and it is the story of Mai, a young Hmong girl who embroiders pa'ndau story cloths with her grandmother. The women in this refugee camp sit, sew and tell stories about their lives back in Laos and before that in China. They make the cloths to make money. Mai who knows no other home longs to go to the United States to join her cousins. She starts doing parts of her grandmother's cloths but soon does the whole of cloths herself. She is very gifted at stitching and storytelling. This picture book is all the more poignant for the foreword explaining the Hmong people and the refugee camps of Thailand.
Pegi Deitz Shea has also used Mai's story to write a novel, Tangled Threads.