“Words like water or like ants. Nothing can penetrate into the cracks, holes, and invisible gaps of life as fast or as thoroughly as words can.”
Since 2016, the VIENTIANE TIMES – the only Laotian daily newspaper in English – has published several feature articles on the work of Reading Elephant Laos. – Another article appeared in the youth magazine WHAT’S UP in Singapore in January 2021:
Photo documentation 2018
In 2018, the Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken in Berlin provided financial support for the development of our children’s library and reading room in Ban Houayxay. You can find some results in pictures in a small photo documentation. The quality of the pictures is not always professional, but they help to get a further impression of the work of the team on site.
Here you can download some children’s books for browsing or reading (in Lao or English). The copyrights belong to the authors and publishers in Laos. We would like to thank the publishers Big Brother Mouse in Luang Prabang and Sengsouvanh Publishing in Vientiane for their kind support and for providing us with the necessary links and files.
- Growing Up On The Mountain
James was born in a Hmong village, high on a mountain in Laos. As a young child, he spent an hour every day carrying water up from the spring below the village. He also helped with farming, went to school, and built a tricycle for exciting rides down the hill.
As a teenager, he moved to Luang Prabang so he could attend high school. He learned English, worked part-time, and in his spare time, he and his brother built a new house for their parents. We thought the story of his life so far (age 17) was both interesting and inspiring; you will, too.
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Poor Peter Rabbit! His father was already made into larp when he went munching in the wrong garden, and Peter is in danger of meeting the same fate. Will he learn his lesson in time? Chamlern has provided bright new pictures for this children‘s classic, and we‘ve adapted it with a few Lao twists, to entertain a new generation of readers whose parents never knew the story of Peter Rabbit.
- Yuli’s story
Would you like to know more about life in Laos? Barbara Meili and Gikong asked a boy in Laos to tell about his life. Here is his story, with many photographs. The text is in English, French, and German. Who is it for? This is different from other books listed here. We have not published it in Laos; it‘s for teachers, parents, and young people in other countries who would like to know more about life in another country.
A poor fisherman discovers that someone else is catching his fish. It is the witch, Phiiyamoi. They fight, but he loses and has to marry her. His troubles, however, have only begun. This traditional Lao folktale may not become a favorite in western kindergartens anytime soon: By the end of the story, Phiiyamoi is snacking on another character‘s intestines. Here, it‘s all considered good fun, while also teaching the value of not being greedy.
- The Red-Headed Club
A shopkeeper mysteriously gets, then loses, a well-paying job – simply because he has red hair. Childlike drawings of dancing men seem like a foolish prank – until they turn deadly. These adventures of Sherlock Holmes have entertained readers around the world for over a century. Here in Laos, students learning English get their practice from English books that are dull and often ungrammatical. With Sherlock‘s help, we‘re going to solve that problem. We‘ve simplified the text of three Sherlock Holmes stories, for this first book in what will become a bilingual series about the famous detective.
- One Mouse and seven cats
Sonesulilat has 8 crickets on the grill. He eats 3 of them; how many are left? If there are 3 nagas, and each naga has 7 heads, how many heads are there in all? And just what are those 7 cats going to do with 1 mouse? Easy number questions like these, each with a full-page picture, make it fun for children to learn basic arithmetic.
- Fly, Fly, Fly!
An eagle soars, a fish swims, a porpoise leaps, and two giraffes walk through the grassland. Seventeen animals each do their thing, introducing young children to the expressive potential of Lao vocabulary.
(English doesn‘t have a word that means „to move by humping up your back“; Lao does.) Eye-catching photographs, of both familiar and unfamiliar animals, add to the book‘s appeal. Older sisters and brothers who are learning English can read this with younger children, and both will expand their word skills.