Her book is part of the Reading Together Book Project, which recruits local authors and illustrators to create culturally relevant books for children.
"Recruiting authors and illustrators to create culturally relevant books to keep children reading is the idea behind the Reading Together Book Project spearheaded by the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans and supported by Minnesota taxpayers through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Thanks to that program, author Vang paired up with book illustrator Aimee Hagerty Johnson to produce “Shoua and the Northern Lights Dragon,’’ a chapter book geared for third grade and older children. So did May Lee Yang, who wrote “The Imaginary Day,’’ which was illustrated by Anne Sawyer-Aitch.
“If people see themselves reflected in a book or movies or music, they’re more engaged,’’ says Vang in explaining why she wrote her story about a little Hmong-American girl who — not unlike its author – struggles to preserve her heritage yet yearns to rise above traditional gender roles in the Hmong culture."