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Age Level: 5 - 8 Tucked between Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a tiny country that survived immeasurable hardship in the 1970s. The Cambodian people are proof that even the most horrific experiences can't destroy the human spirit. The Cambodian Dancer is the compelling true story of a woman who escaped the unspeakable brutality and death that befell her fellow countryman and eventually built a life for herself in the United States. A dancer and a teacher, Sophany was one of the few artists to survive the Khmer Rouge, and her survival has helped to keep the traditions of Cambodian dance alive today.

Winner 2016 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards - Silver for Multicultural Non-Fiction Picture Book.

Reicherter has written a gentle story that confronts diaspora, refugees, and survival through the eyes of a brave and talented young woman. -Asian Fortune News Beautiful illustrations of dancers and ancient Cambodian temples along with a simple text make this a book that can be enjoyed at many levels. The poetic language hints at the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge without going into graphic detail so that you can decide how much history you want to share with your child. The book can become the basis for a deep conversation about the effects of war, and compassion for refugees and immigrants. It is definitely a book for our times. -Schools 'N More
By:   Daryn Reicherter MD, Christy Hale
Translated by:   Bophal Penh
Imprint:   Tuttle
Country of Publication:   United States
Edition:   Bilingual edition
Dimensions:   Height: 279mm,  Width: 216mm, 
Weight:   482g
ISBN:   9780804850360
ISBN 10:   0804850364
Pages:   32
Publication Date:   26 June 2018
Recommended Age:   From 4 to 9 years
Audience:   Children/juvenile ,  English as a second language
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Inactive

Daryn Reicherter, MD is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and a psychiatrist at the Gardner Family Care Corporation's Cambodian Program. He works locally with refugee survivors from around the world. Dr. Reicherter is a specialist in post-traumatic stress in survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime. He is an activist for human rights in the area of war crime through the programs he serves, and beyond. Christy Hale is an award-winning writer, illustrator and designer of children's book whose work has been honoured by Horn Book, the American Library Association, the International Reading Association and others. She is the author and illustrator of Dreaming Up: a Celebration of Building and The East West House, and has illustrated many books celebrating diversity and sustainability as well as creativity in children.

Reviews for Cambodian Dancer: Sophanys Gift of Hope

Christy Hale's bright, expressive art delights and educates, spanning cultures and continents to bring the story of Cambodian dance to American readers. A beautifully rendered exploration of Sophany's journey. -Bestselling author/illustrator Lisa Brown Reicherter has written a gentle story that confronts diaspora, refugees, and survival through the eyes of a brave and talented young woman. -Asian Fortune News The textured, mixed-media illustrations add intrigue to the story told in simple sentences. They convey emotion and provide context for the history provided. -School Library Journal As a Khmer Rouge survivor, I find Dr. Daryn Reicherter did a fascinating job sharing the amazing story of Sophany's powerful will to survive and revive her skills in the face of evil. Her resiliency and strength will empower the young leaders to strive and thrive regardless of their challenges in life. -Chan Hopson, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Khmer Parent Association Sophany's inspiring story of resilience is gracefully animated by Christy Hale's illustration. The book's images seem to glide, glitter, and gently smile, evoking the spirit of Cambodian culture, preserved in its dance. -Mark Reibstein, New York Times Best-selling author of Wabi-Sabi Dance is a means to tell stories across cultures and in The Cambodian Dancer: Sophany's Gift of Hope, we discover how it can also be used as a way to overcome immense pain and loss. Daryn Reicherter's moving story and Christy Hale's beautiful illustrations introduce us to Sophany Bay and show us how central dance was to her life. When she was forced to leave Cambodia, dance became the means for her to heal and help others connect with the culture. This is an important book that reminds us all that no matter what happens, we need to live. We need to dance. -award-winning author, John Coy Sophany's life, and this delightful book, is a reminder that beauty will eventually triumph over darkness and violence. While there are many of us who have turned to the law to right the wrongs of the Khmer Rouge, this book illustrates the healing power of art, in all its facets. -Beth Van Schaack, Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights, Stanford Law School Hale's multimedia illustrations show dancers in classic poses wearing happy, serene faces, while cleverly interwoven iconic elements, such as costumes and relief sculptures, highlight Cambodian culture. This fictionalized story of hope and resilience, inspired by Sophany's experiences and retold in Khmer on the endpapers, will speak to young readers while introducing them to Cambodian culture and recent history. -Booklist

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