Grandfather's Story Cloth / Yawg Daim Paj Ntaub Dab Neeg
by Gerdner, Linda; Langford, Sarah; Loughridge, Stuart (ILT)

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.

Linda A. Gerdner was born in Iowa and is a registered nurse. She is dedicated to helping persons with Alzheimer's disease and the family members who are care for them. Although Grandfather's Story Cloth is her first children's book she has published extensively in professional journals and received international and national awards for these contributions. Gerdner has traveled to northern Laos where she visited three Hmong villages in the rural province of Xieng Khouang. The bonds and friendships established with members of the Hmong American community have enriched her life and expanded her world. Sarah Langford is currently a student at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She is especially interested in the health care needs of immigrants and refugees living in United States. She has a long-standing interest in childrens' literature and has enjoyed the opportunity to combine her talent in this area with her nursing focus. Stuart Loughridge lives and works in St. Paul, MN. Most of his waking hours are spent in his studio, drawing, painting, printmaking, and filling the bird feeder. His work can be viewed at This is his first children's book.

Chersheng, a third-grader, observes his grandfather's growing confusion as his memory loss becomes more profound. Grandfather gathers sticks for a cooking fire, though Mother cooks on a gas stove. More disturbing, he calls Chersheng Fong, the name of his younger brother who died when their family fled from soldiers in Laos. Looking at a traditional Hmong story cloth that he made years before, Grandfather relates his family's history to Chersheng, who makes a collage showing his grandfather's life in America. Written in a straightforward manner, the text smoothly weaves Grandfather's history into the contemporary tale, which shows how Alzheimer's disease affects the whole family. Watercolor paintings sensitively depict this intergenerational story. The dual-language text appears side by side, English on a white background and Hmong on light blue, green, or tan. Reminiscent of Hmong geometric needlework, patterned squares decorate the end panels of this well-designed book. Notes on Alzheimer's disease and on the Hmong and their story cloths are appended. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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