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Grandfather's Story Cloth

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Overview

Ten-year-old Chersheng helps his beloved grandfather cope with his failing memory, brought on by Alzheimer's disease, by showing him the story quilt Grandfather made after fleeing his homeland, Laos, during wartime.

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Hardcover (Bilingual: English & Hmong)
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Overview

Ten-year-old Chersheng helps his beloved grandfather cope with his failing memory, brought on by Alzheimer's disease, by showing him the story quilt Grandfather made after fleeing his homeland, Laos, during wartime.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Published in cooperation with the Extendicare Foundation, this bilingual book with text in English and Hmong focuses on the relationships within a family, and in particular, the shifting connections between a young boy and his grandfather. Chersheng's grandfather is beginning to be forgetful, to live in his memories rather than in their shared present. In a piquant foreshadowing of what is to come, Grandfather forgets to turn off the bathroom faucet and Chersheng's brother Tou's blanket is soaked. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the old man drifts between communication and confusion, often forgetting where he is and is terrified of his family whom he fails to recognize, but at other times he is much more lucid. One such moment emerges from Chersheng's questions about the story cloth that Grandfather made of his experience during the terrible war in Laos. Over the cloth they talk about Grandfather's journey. In the end, it is only when Chersheng uses the idiom of art to represent their common experience, that he is able to open the door to communication again. The text and translation in parallel columns are illustrated with facing pages of gentle watercolor illustrations. The story cloth is represented in a wordless spread that is a turning point in the narrative, its brushstrokes resembling thread and the river in particular giving the striking illusion of satin yarn on fabric. Back matter includes notes on Alzheimer's disease and the famous Hmong story cloths. This is a heartwarming story of family life and love in an immigrant community with a rich history. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4

A Hmong boy learns about his grandfather's life in Laos and his escape to the United States as they share memories illustrated on the elderly man's story cloth. Grandfather has Alzheimer's disease and is beginning to forget common things. Chersheng's fear and exasperation are evident, as are the family's great respect and consideration for their aging relative. The English and Hmong texts face paintings that express the many moods of the characters. Endpapers and the back cover feature numerous geometric patterns that are common in Hmong handicrafts. A full spread shows the story cloth for easy reference and closer examination for details. Background information on Alzheimer's disease and the Hmong refugees and their story cloths will be appreciated by adults preparing to read the story or older children seeking information on both of these topics. A strong family story about difficult social issues relevant to today's society.-Erlene Bishop Killeen, Stroughton Area School District, WI

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781885008343
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Series: Grandfather's Story Cloth Ser.
  • Edition description: Bilingual: English & Hmong
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,450,586
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Mom's Choice Awards Recipient!

    The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach, and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families. This book/product has earned this distinguished award.

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    Alzheimer's disease in an Asian immigrant family

    A Hmong family who fled Laos after the Vietnam War in Southeast Asia and Alzheimer's disease which can afflict the elderly of any race are brought together. The young boy Chersheng is confused and saddened over his grandfather forgetting small things. In one incident, Chersheng's blanket becomes soaked when the bathroom sink overflows after the grandfather forgets to turn off the water. Another time, the grandfather forgets Chersheng's name. Chersheng sees the chance to reconnect with his grandfather again and involve him in the family when his mother gives him a story cloth the grandfather had made as a way to record the time before the family came to America. The Hmong people made such colorful woven story cloths to sell some of them to raise money to emigrate to America and get settled there. Chersheng gets the idea to make a story cloth of his own. When Chersheng shows it to his grandfather, the cloth awakens memories of his past. He recognizes photographs of family members, and he points out the family's present house and vegetable garden in Chersheng's story cloth. The grandfather does remember important parts of the family's past and present, and his memories have a part in the family's unity and future.

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