Hmong Picture Books, Chapter Books, & Graphic Novels

Growing up as a Hmong-American girl in a mainly Caucasian community, it was difficult to find books (particularly picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels) about the Hmong people or books featuring Hmong characters or experiences. Because of that, as a child I didn’t have an appreciation and acceptance for my culture.

When we don’t see ourselves portrayed in literature or the media, it feels like our stories don’t matter, or that they don’t exist, or that there isn’t someone going through the same things we’re going through.

For a long time, I didn’t bother with my culture. I thought that if nobody cared about it, why should I?

It wasn’t until college that I realized the importance of portraying diversity in books. I took a children’s literature class and learned that a good book can aide a child’s growth, and that books can provide answers to some of our issues and questions in life. Good books connect with our emotions and show the world in a way which we may never have imagined. When you portray diversity in literature, you have an ability to empower an individual, and when you empower someone you’re telling them that their voices matter. You’re showing them they are capable of doing things just like everyone else.

And so, I embarked on a mission to search for books that featured Hmong characters or Hmong-related subject matters. Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of published and self-published books with these qualities.

I hope that my list will continue to grow as I am certain there are authors, illustrators, publishers, and readers who feel it is important to have books for all children. I hope that children of the future will be able to open books and see themselves as heroes and learn to appreciate and accept who they are.

BOARD BOOKS

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Kaum Tus Me Nyuam Ntses by Yee Lee

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Ua Si, Ua Si by Mykou Thao | illustrated by Stephanie Ritter

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Kuv Ua Tau by Mykou Thao | illustrated by Stephanie Ritter

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Nyob Zoo by Pang Khang | illustrated by Mary Dominique Oliverio

PICTURE BOOKS


Nine-In-One, Grr! Grr! by Blia Xiong, Cathy Spagnoli | illustrated by Nancy Hom

Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella by Dr. Jewell Coburn | illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien

Ka’s Garden (Kab Lub Vaj): A Bilingual Children’s Book by Maggie Lee McHugh and Bee Lo | illustrated by Vong Lao

The Whispering Cloth : A Refugee’s Story by Pegi Deitz Shea | illustrated by Anita Riggio | stitched by You Yang

Grandfather’s Story Cloth by Linda Gerdner and Sarah Langford | illustrated by Stuart Loughridge

 

Orphan Boy the Farmer bCha Yang | illustrated by Kao Lee Thao

 

Zaj Lus: A Hmong Children’s Story Collection by D.C. Everest Oral History Project

The Gift : The Hmong New Year by Ia Xiong | illustrated by Gou Run-Lin

The Orphan and the Tiger bHua M. Conry and Christina Vang

Dao Tong’s Heavy Heart by Hua M. Conry and Christina Vang

Nong Plai Returns by Hua M. Conry and Christina Vang

The Forbidden Treasure by See Lor | illustrated by Kao Lee Thao

The Magic Stone by See Lor | illustrated by Shallyn Blair

The Greedy Couple

The Greedy Couple by See Lor | illustrated by Duachaka Her

The Family that I Love
The Family that I Love/Tsev Neeg Uas Kuv Hlub by See Lor | illustrated by Duachaka Her


Clothes for See by Champa Lo

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The Tiger in the Village by Pakou Vang

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Once Upon a Time in a Faraway Land
by Duachaka Her

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Leej Twg Hlub Koj? (Who Loves You?) by Stephanie Xiong | illustrated by Vam Moua

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Tougi the Toad by Gaonou Thao | illustrated by Sally Johnson

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Superheroes (Phab Ej) by Pang Xiong | illustrated by Reji Maindrid

CHAPTER BOOKS

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Shoua and The Northern Lights Dragon by Ka Vang


Pa Lia’s First Day by Michelle Edwards


My Country: My Lee Comes to America by Elmira K. Beyer

GRAPHIC NOVELS

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The Collection by Duachaka Her

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Then and Now by Duachaka Her

List of Hmong Artists

“In a 1974 National Geographic article, Lyteck Lynhiavu, a young Hmong Leader, was asked, “why virtually no Hmong become artists?” To which he responded, “The Hmong dream only at night…An artist must dream all day, and we don’t have time.” Festival organizers say that things have changed since 1974 – today the Hmong community has found time to dream and to realize their dreams as artist in a wide variety of disciplines.” Source

Here is a list of Hmong visual artists from around the world. Visual artists include painters, illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, cartoonists, sculptors, filmmakers, and much more. The names listed below are only a few that I have found. Feel free to suggest any that are not listed below, or feel free to add yourself! Just email me.

Adam Lee (MN) – Illustrator / Animator / Visual Development
https://www.instagram.com/ihuaj/

Adora Vang (MN) – Illustrator / Designer
https://www.adoravang.com

Anisha Yang (MN) – Handletterer / Designer / Visual Artist
https://www.anishayang.com

Aulora’s Crafts (CA) – Arts & Crafts
https://www.facebook.com/AulorasCrafts/

Bert Lee (MN) – Graphic Designer
https://bertlee.myportfolio.com/projects

Boon Ma Yang (CA) – Fine Art Painter
http://bumahmongartist.blogspot.com/2007/02/fine-art-painter.html

Caitlin Xiong (WI) – Illustrator
http://hmoobdejntshiabart.wix.com/caitlinxiong


Cha-Ji – Graphic Designer, Illustrator & Photographer
https://cha-ji.deviantart.com

Champa Lo (NY) – Designer / Illustrator
http://www.champonit.com

Cho-Zero – Illustration
http://cho-zero.deviantart.com

Chou Her (WI) – Cartoonist / Illustrator / Animator
http://zuntxuj.deviantart.com

Choua Xiong (Tshua Xyooj) – Artist / Graphic Novelist
https://tshuax.deviantart.com/


Christina Vang (MN) – Art Director / Designer

http://christinavang.com


Cy Thao (MN) – Politician / Painter
http://chgs.elevator.umn.edu/asset/viewAsset/57ed9baf7d58aeea1d9043ac#57ed9d6b7d58ae3c7a9043ed

Daniel Yang – Illustrator
http://danielyangart.com



David Thao (KS) – Photographer
http://www.davidthaophotography.com


Dina Her (MN)- Painter / Comic Artist / Graphic Designer
https://www.facebook.com/dibnashawj

Duachaka Her (WI) – Cartoonist / Illustrator
http://duachakaher.com

Gaoshua Vang (MN) – Illustrator / Photographer
https://artbygaoshua.com

Hai Lo (MN) – Animation / Illustration
https://www.facebook.com/hailoart/

Houa Vang (NC) – Photographer
https://houavang.com

Hua M. Conry (WI) – Art Director / Graphic Designer / Illustrator
https://www.huaconry.com

Hue Vang (WI) – Digital Artist
http://huue.deviantart.com

Jennifer Tshab Her (IL) – Visual Artist
http://www.tshabher.com/
 

Jessi Xiong (MA) – Visual Development / Animation / Illustration
https://www.jeiyex.com

Jim Vang – Artist
https://www.facebook.com/JimVangArt/

Joanna Kangazoua Herr (KS) – Photographer / Graphic Designer
http://www.angsdesign.com/about/

Kangbao Thao – Owner of “Miv Nyuas Hmoob” | Arts & Craft
https://www.facebook.com/Miv-Nyuas-Hmoob-613916242278143/

Kao Lee Thao (MN) – Painter / Animator / Designer
http://www.innerswirl.com


Katherina Vang (a.k.a. Kat) (MN) – Fine Arts Portraiture Artist
https://www.maivabphotography.com

Kazua Melissa Vang (MN) – Artist / Photographer / Graphic Designer
http://www.mnartists.org/user/15347

KB Lor (MN) – Artist
https://artbykblor.com

Keu Cha – Comic Artist
https://keucha.deviantart.com

Khamsao Yang (WI) – Painter
https://www.facebook.com/artkys1


Kia – Illustration
https://katzmiao.deviantart.com


Kimberly Yang (MN) – Designer / Developer / Aspiring Illustrator
http://kimberlygyang.com

Lashia Lee (MN) – Artist
https://lashialee.deviantart.com

Lee Xiong (MI) – Painter & Digital Illustration
http://www.leexiong.com


Linda Vang – Art/ Illustration / Craft
https://www.facebook.com/LindaVang-Art-Illustration-Craft-532722550183018/

Lor Lao (WI) – Painter
https://www.facebook.com/StudioLorLao/

Ly Kune (MN) – Artist
https://www.deviantart.com/lykn

Ma Ly (CA) – Painter / Educator
https://vernissagefresno.com/ma-ly/

Mai Chao Vang (MN) – Artist
https://www.facebook.com/maichaosart/

Maikao Her (WI) – Cartoonist
http://shorenx.deviantart.com

Mai Koua Yang (MN) – Artist / Painter
http://www.kouamyang.com


Mai Lo Thao (WI) – Graphic Designer
https://dribbble.com/blahdee


Maiyer Jadeyon Thao (MN) – Artist
http://www.mjatdreams.com

Melanie Xiong (WI) – Artist
https://www.facebook.com/melaniexiongart/

Monkato Yang (WI) – Concept Art / Illustration
https://katosartdesk.tumblr.com

Nancy Her (CA) – Visual Artist
http://theartnher.wix.com/arts


Neng Thao (CA) – Scientist / Artist / Informal Educator
https://www.facebook.com/nengnow

Ngianhormua Yang (MI) – Illustrator / Designer
https://ngianhormua.carbonmade.com


Nicollazzi Xiong (MN) – Graphic Designer
https://www.rhymeswithpaparazzi.com

Nou Chee Her (WI) – Artist
http://tsim.deviantart.com

Pang Khang (WI) – Photography
https://pangkhang.com

Pang Zong Vang (NY) – Artist
http://pangzvang.com/home.html


Pao Houa Her (MN) – Visual Artist
http://www.paohouaher.com


Sarah Moua (MN) – Filmmaker
http://www.sarahmoua.com

Sahra Vang Nguyen (NY) – Artist / Writer/ Creative Producer
http://www.sahravang.com

See Xeng Lee (MN) – Painter / Educator
http://www.seexeng.com

Sheena Vang (a.k.a. Pabgha) – Illustrator
https://www.facebook.com/pabgha/

Shoua Yang (WI) – Printmaker
http://shouayangprints.weebly.com

Sieng Lee (MN) – Installation Artist / Graphic Designer
http://www.mcad-mfa.com/sieng-lee-graphic-design/

Song Yer Thao (MN) – Visual Artist
http://www.carbonmousestudios.com/carbon_mouse_studios/Song_Thao.html

Stacy Lee Yang (MN) – Graphic Designer
http://651slydesign.wix.com/portfolio


Suzie Chang (CA) – Illustrator & Painter
https://www.facebook.com/suziechangart/?fref=ts


Tai Moua (WI) – Illustration
http://tailmoua.blogspot.com


Tori Hong – Visual Artist
https://torihong.com

Tou Her – Illustration
http://touher.com

Tou Yia Xiong (MN) – Illustrator / Designer
http://www.tyxdraws.com

Tshua Xiong – Artist
https://www.deviantart.com/tshuax/

Txeu Ying Vang / Sébastien Vang (France) – Painter / Sculptor
https://www.facebook.com/Txeu-Ying-Vang-1593099220955149/?ref=br_rs

Txia Yang – Artist
https://society6.com/tsey

Vam Moua (CA) – Fashion Illustrator / Graphic Designer
http://muajtiagclothingco.weebly.com

Vanghoua Anthony Vue (Australia) – Visual Artist
http://www.vanghoua-anthonyvue.com


Vang Cheng Xiong (WI) – Artist
https://www.facebook.com/vxartwork/

Venla Vang (MN) – Arts / Crafts
http://venlaa.com


Victoria Kab Vang – Graphic Designer / Illustrator
https://www.victoriakabvang.com

Victoria Kue (PA) – Visual Artist
https://victoria-kue-f43f.squarespace.com

Xee Reiter (MN) – Visual Artist
https://www.facebook.com/Xeereiterink-619874244705792/

Yayao Yuying (USA) – Comic Artist
https://globalcomix.com/a/da-pow-

Yer Za Vue (OR) – Artist / Painter
http://www.yerzavue.com

Yinkong Vue (MN) – Animation / Illustration
https://www.facebook.com/yinkongvue/

Ziang Her (CA) – Design & Illustration
http://www.slantypearcreative.com

Educational Hmong Materials for the Holidays

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Hello everyone!

I’m always on the lookout for Hmong books and educational materials, not only for myself but for kids as well. I’ve compiled a list of businesses and products that feature such items. If you’re looking into gifting Hmong-related books or educational materials to someone this holiday, consider the list below. If I missed something you think should be on the list, please let me know and I’ll look into it. Thanks!

Door in the Mountain – Children’s books

Duachaka Her – Comic books

Hmong Baby – BooksFlashcards

Reading Karma – Children’s books

Shoua and the Northern Lights Dragon by Ka Vang – Chapter book

Skill Stacker – Children’s book

Zoosi – App, Flashcards

 

Gift Ideas for Artists

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Hello all!

With the holiday season coming around the corner I thought I’ll post something a little different today. I’ve compiled a list of gift ideas for people who are planning to buy something for their artist friend/family member, but don’t know where to start! These are just a few things that I’ve come up with or would personally love to receive as a gift.

1) Tools – It never hurts to have more tools! Of course, these are our essentials to making great art! Depending on the type of medium your person uses or the level at which they are at in their career, you might consider purchasing some of these:

  • pens
  • brush pens
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • markers
  • brushes/brush set
  • colored pencils
  • watercolor/watercolor set
  • ink
  • paint
  • paper
  • sketchbooks
  • drawing pads
  • digital drawing tablet & pen
  • laptop
  • desktop
  • scanner
  • camera
  • external hard drive

2) Gifts for the Workspace – Having stuff for the workspace is also an essential component of our art making. Maybe the person you’re gifting actually needs a nice place to work or a way to store their art supplies? Well, here are some things you can considering gifting:

  • desk
  • table
  • chair
  • bookshelf
  • shelves
  • lamp
  • storage/filing cabinets
  • wall art

3) Subscriptions/Memberships – I know I work with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign a lot, but to do so I must buy a subscription! If you know your artist uses an art service or might be interested in taking online art course, how about consider gifting them a membership or paying for their class? Below are a few examples:

  • Adobe suites subscription
  • Online art courses
  • Tickets to conferences, conventions, or workshops
  • Premium accounts (DeviantART, Patreon, etc.)

4) Books/Artwork/Miscellaneous – As much as we are artists, we are also art lovers and consumers! We are most likely fans of another artist’s work or collect items of some sort. If you know your artist friend/family member well,  here are some ideas of stuff to consider gifting:

  • art books/“art of” books
  • art prints
  • posters
  • plushies/toys
  • stickers/sticker books
  • buttons
  • enamel pins
  • patches

5) Gift Cards/Money – Yes, it never hurts to gift them a gift card! Chances are, the artist will probably have a better idea of what to get themselves. Here are some places where artists shop for art supplies:

  • Michaels Arts and Craft
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Dick Blick
  • Amazon
  • Ebay

6) Something you created! – We love thoughtful handmade gifts as well, so if you’re on a budget consider making us something!

I hope this helps some of you out. Again, the holidays isn’t about just gifts! Gifting your time and attention is the most important gift of all.

Duachaka Her

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Author visit, a new book, and another Kickstarter!

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is doing great. I wanted to update you guys about what I’ve been up to and what to look forward to.

1) Fox Cities Book Festival 2017

FCBF

First of all, we’re less than a month away from my author visit at the Fox Cities Book Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin. The event will be on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Appleton Public Library. I’ll be giving a presentation about the making and inspiration behind my comic book Then and Now. Click here for more details about the event.

2) Qhia Txog Kuv Tsev Neeg: About My Family

qhia txog kuv tsev neeg

This is an illustrated book I am currently working on about Hmong family names. It is currently getting edited and will most likely be available 2018.

3) Then and Now Kickstarter

I’ve been planning one! Currently working in the rewards right now. This story is already done and you can read the full version for free here or buy the PDF here. The goal of the Kickstarter is to allow me to print more copies of this book and possibly enhance it some more. I plan to launch the campaign sometime in 2018, so keep your eyes out!

4) My online shop

I’ve recently added The Greedy Couple a Hmong children’s book I’ve illustrated to my shop. The story is a Hmong-inspired folktale about a greedy couple. Get your copy today or browse through the other goodies! Shop here.

Again, thanks to everyone who have supported my work. It has definitely kept me motivated to create more awesome content to share with the world.

As always, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates, doodles, or awesome links. You can also email me with questions or inquires.

That’s it! Until next time. Have a good one!

Duachaka Her

Upcoming Author Visit

FCBF

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while. I have some AWESOME news that I would like to share with you all. On Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. I will be a guest author at the Fox Cities Book Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin. I will be giving a presentation on my comic book Then and Now. More details to come as the event gets closer.

In the meantime, please visit the Fox Cities Book Festival website for more information about the event and other authors that will be present throughout the week! The festival runs from October 9th-15th. Hope to see some of you there!

Duachaka

 

Books and Babies!

Hello!

I know, it’s been so long since my last blog post, but I have WONDERFUL NEWS! If some of you recall from my previous blog posts I mentioned that I was illustrating some children’s book projects. Well, I am very happy to announce that they are finally out and available for purchase! Yes! You can get your hands on these babies!

The Greedy Couple by See Lor:
A Hmong-inspired folktale about a greedy couple.

thegreedycouple

There’s A Baby in There!: A Kid’s Guide to Understanding Pregnancy, Birth and the Newborn by Ann Wrzosek-Manor:
An illustrated children’s book intended to educate readers about the pregnancy, child birth, and the newborn.

theresababyinthere

Speaking of babies, I’ve been quite busy these past few months because I myself recently gave birth to my son! Yes, I’m officially a mommy now; thus, my personal projects might slow down a bit, but nevertheless, I am still making work! So stay tuned and until next time.

Duachaka Her

Advice to the Art Graduate: Life after College

CONGRATS! You just graduated from art school (or with a degree in Art or Design)! First of all, give yourself a big pat in the back for pursing something and getting it done! Hopefully your degree was not a waste of your time and you’ve made the most out of it!

So last year around this time I graduated with a degree in Entertainment Design and concentration in Comics and Sequential Art. I was happy, my family was happy, and life was good. I took a few months to reorganize my life and readjust back to the “real world.” I was no longer in school, which meant no more late nights, homework, and classes! Although this meant a ton of stress off my shoulders it didn’t mean everything was set and good. Unfortunately, being out of school meant that you were given “other responsibilities”—some of which you have to learn to manage and maintain over the years.

After graduation I had a mini postgraduate crisis about my next steps in life. What do I do next? Where was I going? Was this really it? Then I remembered some advice that were given to me from professors and peers about what to expect after college. I reminded myself of these and here I am a year later feeling on track! So, here’s a list of advice I’ve come up with to help a postgraduate:

1) Get a job: As much as we would like to stay in our rooms and make art for the rest of our lives, we know this won’t happen unless we pay for rent, food, our student loans, and other expenses. You have to get a job, ANY job really; it doesn’t even have to relate to art (although it might be nice if it does)! What matters is at the end of the day you don’t mind working there and it pays you enough to live!

2) Make work: Yes, making work or having personal projects is WAYYYY harder to manage outside of school. Besides the fact that there isn’t an evil professor overlooking your shoulders and having deadlines for you, YOU have to be the person planning and making these decisions. Plus, you have to work around your job and other daily priorities. Sometimes you just got to sit down, turn off your distractions, and make stuff!

3) Put your work out there: This means posting it online, making a website, opening an online shop, going to conventions, applying for residencies or call for artists, etc! Anything to get your awesome stuff out! In an ideal world, it’ll be nice if a client or employer just found us one day and gave us our dream job, but that won’t even happen unless we have stuff to show!

4) Stay connected: Being an artist can be a lonely occupation, so why not surround ourselves more with like-minded individuals? In college we had our art peers and professors there to support and guide us. If you can, try to stay connected with those who you’ve already made connections with; however, even if you didn’t made much connections in college, there are local and online communities out there to support individuals just like you. Find one that fits. Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals will hopefully aid your growth and remind you to keep making art.

5) Be patient: Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a children’s book illustrator, but is stuck flipping burgers 5 days a week. Keep in mind that “success” does not come immediately and that it’ll probably take time (maybe years) to get to where you want to be. What matters is you work at it everyday and remind yourself what your purpose is.

6) Enjoy life: Take this time to enjoy life! Making art is important, but also remember that the stuff we produce comes from our experiences and everyday life. Don’t spend your entire day in a room drawing. Take the time to go for a walk, go to the movies with your partner, catch up with friends, travel, and whatever else you want to do. Give yourself a break once in a while and be ready to go back to the studio refreshed!

That’s all I have for you. Hopefully you guys found this useful as it was for me after I graduated. Pass it on to someone who may be in need of some post-graduate advice, or advice in general. Until next time!

Duachaka Her