While I was in Mandalay last week, my Japanese friend Kazuko was on the other side of Myanmar, visiting friends in Shan State’s Tat Ein village. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to travel all the way to Shan State (a full day’s journey by bus, but only a 25-minute flight), so we weren’t able to meet. But when Kazuko was in Bangkok two months ago, I gave her a copy of M is for Myanmar to give to Maung Thwe, the boy who I had known when he was a novice monk at the monastery in Tat Ein, but who is now living with his family again in the village. Kazuko gave the book to him during her visit and reports that Maung Thwe was very happy to receive the present. Thanks to Kazuko for the photos!
The cool thing about M is for Myanmar, besides the fact that it has very colorful illustrations, is that the text is in both English and Burmese, making it easy for children to read. M is for Myanmar is published by Things Asian Press, the same fine company that recently published Ma Thanegi’s cookbook, Ginger Salad and Water Wafers: Recipes from Myanmar, and Janet Brown’s excellent travelogue, Almost Home. Things Asian has been publishing travel books for over a decade, but they also have a children’s book division, and in addition to the Myanmar book they have published many other titles, including B is for Bangkok, H is for Hong Kong, and T is for Tokyo.