icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Will Noi be sent to the factory to work, or can she learn to paint umbrellas? Will a young artist be able to pursue her gift?
Here is the Japanese version.

a Booklist Top Ten Art Book for Youth

Texas Bluebonnet Nominee 2005

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award 2005


“Vivid details of village life as well as insights into the colors and techniques of silk painting…” New York Times

“The author captures the exotic smells, tastes, and sounds that define Noi’s world and shapes an equally affecting portrait of a family coping with the changes thrust upon it.”
Publishers Weekly—starred review

“Marsden tells a story that is foreign in detail and texture but universal in appeal. The community’s weather, customs and beliefs are reflected in the observant Noi’s quiet narrative, but more fundamental is her love for each family member, her concern for their livelihood, and her longing to contribute to the family’s fortunes in her own way.”
Booklist—starred review

“The language is soft and clear as rainwater, a glimpse into a way of life little known to American children.” Childrens Books

One time when I visited Thailand, I met an activist who was concerned about the toxic metals being used in the factories. Young workers were dying, and the forest was being polluted. I told this woman that I would go home and do something about this situation. I began to write what would become SILK UMBRELLAS. The story went through many changes, going from being a picture book, to a non-fiction holiday book, to different versions of a middle grade novel until it became the present book.