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The Whispering Cloth: A Refugee's Story Paperback – September 1, 1996


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Stick and Stone
Words do matter as Stick and Stone demonstrate in warm, rhyming text even the youngest reader will understand. See more featured books. Read more about the author Beth Ferry and the illustrator Tom Lichtenheld.
$8.49 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

The Whispering Cloth: A Refugee's Story + Dia's Story Cloth: The Hmong People's Journey of Freedom + Grandfather's Story Cloth
Price for all three: $29.75

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563976234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563976230
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,026,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A Hmong refugee girl remembers painful episodes from her life in a pa'ndau, a traditional story cloth. Close-up photos of Yang's textured needlework "add to the [tale's] poignancy," said PW. Ages 3-8.
- poignancy," said PW. Ages 3-8.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4?A small Hmong girl lives with her grandmother in a Thai refugee camp, where she learns to embroider the pa'ndau, the story cloth that is an important source of income for the refugee women. Mai's story begins as her parents are killed by soldiers while they sleep. She is rescued from the battle by her grandmother, who carries her across the Mekong in a basket. The child adds a hopeful end to her work with a stitched scene of herself and Grandmother flying away from the refugee camp to a land where she plays in the snow, swims in the surf, and sleeps with Grandmother in a fine bed. When at last the pa'ndau is finished, the embroidered images of the child's mother and father whisper that the cloth is not for sale. Shea has based her story on the experiences of refugees at Ban Vinai camp in Thailand. She recounts the horror of her young heroine's life in a detached tone, much like a child whose sanity depends on detachment. Riggio's tropical rain watercolor paintings are bordered with the geometric designs of the clothing, while Mai's work is depicted with photos of the embroidery stitched by You Yang. The two mediums blend with success. A tale of restrained anguish, it ends nevertheless on a note of stubborn optimism.?Ruth Semrau, formerly at Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Hmong is a group of people that live in the high mountains in South China or they could live in Laos but in the mountains. They speak four different kinds of languages: Lao, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese. Whenever I read a book about a language like Lao I get very interested and I want to ask my parents about it because they are from a refugee camp, too. I ask my parents lots of questions until it blows their minds because I ask too much questions!! For example I ask "Did you swim to Thailand?" "How did you get to New York?" and lots more. I ask lots of questions until they answer me. My parents survived from the refugee and the soldiers. They swam to Thailand, if the army or soldiers saw one of my parents they would ask questions or instead they would shoot one of them. What I heard was the army took the Lao people and took them to the refugee camp! This book is a believable story and you use your imagination about the cloth talking and speaking. I would recommend this book to any child or grown up who is interested in a refugee's story.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I would have spent more time with the Hmong in Thailand. I found this story very moving and the immigrants strength and resilience in surviving wonderful to see. I am excited to share this with my students several of whom are refugees from war and conflict.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a real treasure and brings to life the Humong culture.
User friendly for our little ones who can hardly hold a book.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mateo on December 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book suffers for its illustrations, some of which are downright unattractive; there is very little actual needlework featured in the book. And, no new territory is covered by the text. This publication unintentionally makes the point that the time has come for people to stop marketing the Hmong refugee experience.
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More About the Author

Hi! Thanks for your interest in my work. I LOVE to meet readers at school visits and teacher conferences, and share my writing processes. Please visit www.pegideitzshea.com for details.

Right now, I'm celebrating the release of my new YA novel, STITCH IN TIME, a sequel to TANGLED THREADS about the Hmong refugee, Mai, first introduced in my picture book, THE WHISPERING CLOTH. Mai reunites with her crush from camp, Yia, but he wants her to become a mother to his sons rather than pursue art school. STITCH IN TIME is available on Kindle as well as in paperback on Amazon.

I'm working on several projects as usual, revising two novels: SNAKE BOY, SISTER SPY, a YA novel based on the teen exploits of my aunt and uncle in the French Resistance during WWII; and THE JERSEY DEVIL, a novel set in the NJ Pine Barrens in 1979 when gambling returned to Atlantic City. "Angie" is a budding folk singer/songwriter. I'm still working with UCONN marine biologists on a series called AQUANAUTS: TEEN HEROES OF THE SEAS.

I teach writing at the University of Connecticut, the Mark Twain House and Highlights Foundation. I love sharing my knowledge, energy, and passion for writing. I also love sports, travel and reading, of course.

Learn more about me at my website, or email me at pegideitzshea@aol.com

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The Whispering Cloth: A Refugee's Story
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