The Cambodian Dancer

The Cambodian Dancer : Sophany's Gift of Hope

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**Winner of the Moonbeam Children's Book Award Silver Medal for Non-Fiction Picture Book** This Cambodian children's book teaches that not even the most terrible brutality can destroy the human spirit. The Cambodian Dancer, a Cambodian book for children, is the true story of a Cambodian refugee a dancer and teacher who built a life in the US after fleeing the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge. She then became a counsellor to other Cambodian refugees and created a school of dance for children. Her gift of hope was to teach children in the Cambodian community the traditional dances of their country, so young people growing up far away from the land of their ancestors would know about their culture. In plain but straightforward language and colourful illustrations, this multicultural children's story communicates to children a sense of the joy, sadness, injustice, and triumph that lives on in young Cambodian Americans. It shows that it is possible to overcome great hardship and that a single decision can do much to heal one's self and others. This touching Cambodian book for kids brings a message of positivity to a true story of human hope and resilience.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 32 pages
  • 216 x 279 x 12.7mm | 476.27g
  • Boston, United States
  • English
  • Bilingual edition
  • Bilingual edition
  • Full-colour illustrations
  • 0804850364
  • 9780804850360
  • 922,695

Review quote

"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 "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 "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 "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 "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 "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 "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
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About Daryn Reicherter

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.
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Rating details

8 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 38% (3)
4 38% (3)
3 12% (1)
2 12% (1)
1 0% (0)
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