A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a slice-of-life from the other side of the consumer cycle -- the people whose labor produces the cheap electronics and native art.
Is It Any Good?
Though rather slow, and with a heroine who can be maddeningly timid in getting to the easily predicted solution, this gentle little book is also satisfying and, at times, fascinating. The author paints a vivid picture of Noi's life, including customs, holidays, and the occasional word (glossary at the back). Equally vivid are the descriptions of Noi's creative process in learning to paint delicate plants and animals onto the silk umbrellas that foreign tourists snap up at bargain prices in the market.
Author Carolyn Marsden refrains from stacking the deck. This is not a polemic, just a picture of a difficult life far away from those of her readers. The small victories enable life to go on and be marginally bearable, and the love of family makes it more than that. This delicate book will not be to every child's taste, but some young readers will identify with Noi and cheer for her success.
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