All posts tagged: Children’s Books

Saymoukda Vongsay unpacks family, migration and identity in debut children’s book

When writer Saymoukda Vongsay first wrote “When Everything Was Everything,” a poem depicting the Lao refugee experience, she didn’t expect it to transform into what it is today. In her first children’s book of the same name, Vongsay reveals glimpses into her childhood as a young Lao girl navigating America with her displaced family. Touching on universal and present topics like refugee experiences, class, and family,  the story connects with children and adults of all ages. Although the book was just released this past month, its inception spans even farther. Vongsay said she wrote “When Everything Was Everything” around seven years ago at a writers workshop for women of color as a last-ditch “hurrah” before quitting her writing career. One prompt asked the group to think of a time in their lives that involved a lot of movement or migration and Vongsay said she thought back to her early years. “I just created this list of all the times I felt my family moved or migrated,” she said. “I was also looking up movement in other …

Kickstarter Project: Bringing Xieng Mieng to Lao American Children

Nor Sanavongsay is a Lao-American illustrator and writer living and working in San Francisco area. He’s created award-winning projects for Encyclopædia Britannica, Sears, and is currently designing interfaces for Barnes & Noble NOOK. He is currently working on the Xieng Mieng children’s book series and a character known as Kiwi the Green Koala. He recently launched a kickstarter to finish making the first Xieng Mieng Book at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nawdsign/lao-childrens-book-xieng-mieng-adventures . Gently, easy-going and usually quiet, he was incredibly talkative about finally making this new book. Many of us who’ve known him since his days with the SatJaDham Lao Literary Project remember his enthusiasm and excitement over 10 years ago. It’s a labor of love for Nor, who’s also been helping so many other Lao projects and his fellow artists. He’s got fans across the country, but has usually kept a low-profile when talking about himself. But I think you’ll agree he has an inspiring story. This January, I was able to convince him to do an interview for Little Laos on the Prairie. Thanks for talking with us, …