Skip to main content
by Nancy Raines Day

illustrated by Genna Panzarella


School Library Journal:

K-Gr 4– In this myth, two siblings create earth and sky with needle and thread. At first, they compete with one another, embroidering in secret. However, when the brother’s shimmering sky turns out to be too small for the sister’s abundant earth, they must work together to find a solution. The results are depicted in a lavish double spread, enlarged by flaps, showing an Edenic Cambodian rain forest, rich in animal life. Cast within the frame of a story told by a grandmother while she and her small granddaughter stitch together, the tale is attributed by the author to older members of the Mien community from the Laotian Handcraft Project of Berkeley, CA. Using vivid colors, the illustrator places grandmother, granddaughter, and the newly created world on a white background while setting the mythic portion of the story on cosmic black. Though the realistic drawings are not particularly innovative, the effect is certainly dramatic. Grandmother and the brother and sister gods are shown in traditional clothing. An author’s note explains the importance of embroidery to this culture, and pictures of traditional stitches are included. The book should be useful where creation myths are compared, where stitchery is valued, and where Southeast Asian stories are needed.–Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams –Margaret A. Chang (Reviewed July 1, 2002) (School Library Journal, vol 48, issue 7, p105)


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, Folklore, Kindergarten