Mali Under the Night Sky: A Lao Story of Home
Written and illustrated by Youme
Mali Under the Night Sky tells the true story of artist Mali Jai Dee, whose family was forced by civil war to flee Laos when she was five. Before the war began, Mali lived an idyllic life in a community where she felt safe and was much loved. She loved to sit in front of her house and ask everyone who passed by, "Where are you going?" She herself went everywhere too--climbing on the flowering trees, catching tiny fish in a rice field, looking for pale bamboo shoots in the dark forest. She loved the time she spent with her family, napping in the hot afternoons, making feasts and coming together on special days to celebrate. But the coming war caused her family to flee to another country and a life that was less than ideal. What did she carry with her? She carried her memories. And they in turn carried her across the world, sharing where she is from and all that she loves with the people she meets.
About the Creators
Youme grew up loving stories. She has lived and worked as a community artist in New York, New Haven, Miami, Woods Hole, San Francisco, Kenya, Japan, Lao P.D.R., Vietnam, St. John, U.S.V.I., Haiti, and Cuba. Youme's books include Selavi (That Is Life)-A Haitian Story of Hope, Mali Under the Night Sky-A Lao Story of Home, and Pitch Black with Anthony Horton. She is drawn to stories of survival and champions for social justice. Youme lives in an ever changing location with her partner and their two children.