Interesting Books


Sam S. Manivong and Mark A. Williams, Digital Conversion Group

CAPTIONS for Books on Display

Coburn, Jewell Reinhart ; illustrated by Nena Grigorian Ullberg ; research consultant Bolyvong Tanovan ; art contributor, Rangsith Lang. Encircled kingdom : legends and folktales of Laos. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Burn, Hart, c1979. 80 p. PZ8.1.C64 En

A collection of twenty-three traditional tales from Laos. Illustrated. (Ages 10 and up).

Coburn, Jewell Reinhart and Tzexa Cherta Lee ; illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien. Jouanah, a Hmong Cinderella. Arcadia, Calif. : Shen's Books, c1996. Unpaged. PZ8.C64 Jo 1996.

Hmong (minority group in Laos) folklore. Despite a cruel stepmother's schemes, Jouanah, a young Hmong girl, finds true love and happiness with the aid of her dead mother's spirit and a pair of special sandals. Richly illustrated. (Ages 6 and up).

Daovilai, Rungalun and Khomphay Liamlat. Farmers and a Magic Stone. DeKalb, Illinois : Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Available online in Lao and English at:

A farmer has no luck fishing, but instead pulls a magic stone from the river. He awakes in the middle of the night to find that the stone has turned into a swan. The swan takes him to a beautiful land full of flowers and tells him to take as many as he pleases. The farmer picks three flowers before he returns home. The next morning, he finds that the flowers have turned to gold. (Ages 8 and up).

Day, Nancy Raines ; illustrated by Genna Panzarella. Piecing earth & sky together : a creation story from the Mien tribe of Laos. Fremont, Calif. : Shen's Books, 2001. Unpaged. PZ8.1.D3215 Pi 2001

Yao (minority group in Laos) folklore. While she and her grandmother work on their embroidery, Mei Yoon listens to an old Mein tale about the creation of the earth and the sky. (Ages 10 and up).

Gogol, Sara. Vatsana’s Lucky New Year. Minneapolis : Lerner Publications Co., c1992. 156 p. PZ7.G5584 Vat 1992.

Torn between Laotian and American cultures, twelve-year-old Vatsana faces prejudice from a boy at school as she helps her newly arrived Laotian cousin adjust to life in Portland, Oregon. (Ages 12 and up).

Hopkins, Allen W. and John Hoskin. Laos: The Land of a Million Elephants. Bangkok : Post Books, 1996. 128 p. DS 555.3 .H67 1996.

Beautiful color pictures fill this book with images of Laos and Laotians. Although the text is intended for a more mature audience, the pictures will be appreciated by any age. (Ages 5 and up).

Kaignavongsa, Xay and Hugh Fincher. Legends of the Lao : a compilation of legends and other folklore of the Lao people. [Bangkok] : Geodata System, 1993. 88 p. GR308.5.L36 X39 1993.

A collection of folk stories translated into English from the original Lao. Although riddled with biases, these stories are useful for understanding the history and culture of Laos. (Ages 12 and up).

Luanglaad, Suban and Khongphad Luanglaad. Khua Khao Kad, The Giant Creeper. DeKalb, Illinois : Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Available online in Lao and English at:

An old couple sacrifices themselves by cutting down a giant vine that blocks the sun and keeps the Lao people in poverty. After their selfless act, the Lao people honor them ever year with a feast and prayers (Ages 8 and up).

Nettavongs, Kongdeuane and Nuannipha Mokhom. The Four Marvelous Brothers. DeKalb, Illinois : Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Available online in Lao and English at:

An old farming couple prays for a son to help them on their farm and to inherit their property. In return, they receive a pumpkin, a squash, a rice grain, and a sesame seed. But not all is as it seems! An illustrated story about the founding of the four kingdoms in Laos. (Ages 8 and up).

Sage, William W. and Judith A. M. Henchy. Laos: A Bibliography. (Library Bulletin / Institute for Southeast Asian Studies; no. 16). Singapore : Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1986. 254 p. Z 3228 .L3 S24.

An exhaustive bibliography of materials printed in or about Laos. Major subject headings divide materials for ease of use. (Ages 14 and up).

SEASITE. Lao Language and Culture Site. DeKalb, Illinois : Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northern Illinois University.

A comprehensive web site developed by experts in the field and devoted to learning the Lao language and culture. Includes writing examples of the Lao script, pronunciation, grammar, literature, background cultural information, and links to other relevant sites. (Ages 8 (with guidance) and up).

Spagnoli, Cathy ; illustrations by Chi Chung. Thao Kham, the pebble shooter : a tale from Laos. Bothell, WA : Wright Group, c1995. 32 p. PZ8.1.S725 Th 1995.

A boy, unable to walk or run, develops a talent for pebble shooting. His skills catch the attention of the king, who then has a special mission for him. Richly illustrated. (Ages 6 and up).

UNESCO. Festivals in Asia. New York : Kodansha International Ltd, 1975. 68 p. GT 4872 .F47.

Stories of how the New Year and other festivals are celebrated in cultures across Asia, told from a child’s perspective. Colorful illustrations are interspersed with the text to add to the imagination. The Lao New Year is covered from pages 49 – 54. (Ages 8 and up).

Werner, Klaus. Learning Lao for Everybody. Vientiane : State Printing Enterprise, 1992. 176 p. PL 4236.2 .W4713 1992.

A good introductory text for learning Lao. Provides background information on the language and country, consonants and vowels and their English equivalents, transliterations for words and phrases, and lessons and useful phrases. (Ages 12 and up).


2002 SEAsite Laos.  Interesting Books