Whispering Cloth

Whispering Cloth

Young Mai, a Hmong girl, lives with Grandmother in a refugee camp. There, they make their home growing coriander and chiles and making a living by sewing pa'ndau. These pa'ndau are cloths carefully stitched with flowers and memories and they are sought after by traders. Young Mai listens to the stories that are whispering all around her and wishes to sew her own pa'ndau but Grandmother tells her she must think of her story first.

The story comes to Mai. It is a story of her parents being killed and Grandmother fleeing with her. The guns fire and the terror surrounds her.

So Mai stitches the story into a pa'ndau but when Grandmother sees it, she tells Mai it is not finished yet and so Mai imagines what the end of the story might be.

Can she and Grandmother get enough money to flee to the United States to find a better life? The illustrations are done in embroidery and they quietly show the darkness of Mai's life and the hope she holds onto for a future of goodness and possibilities ahead. 32 pages

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