Christy Hale logo

LinkedIn Pinterest Facebook twitter35


Poems to SolveJuan Bobo and the PigThe Ancestor TreePaco and the WitchThose Calculating CrowsBilly and EmmaElizabeti's DollWho's In the HallMama ElizabetiA Safe Place Called HomeElizabeti's SchoolIt Rainded All Day That NightYou're Not My Real MotherAfrican American Read-AloudSky DancerscookbookGuess AgainphphDreaming_Up_cvr
Click on a thumbnail to explore each book



The Cambodian Dancer: Sophany's Gift of Hope
by Daryn Reicherter, illustrated by Christy Hale
(Tuttle Books, 2015)
Buy this book
This is the true story of Sophany Bay, a Khmer Rouge survivor who started a dance school in San Jose and works diligently to keep her culture alive.
awards • reviews
2016 Moonbeam Children's Book Award
, Silver in Non-fiction Multicultural

Accepted to the 2016 Society of Illustrators Original Art Show

"It was my pleasure to experience the heartfelt journey of this remarkable Cambodian dancer and Christy Hale has certainly captured the spirit, the rhythm and the joy in this lively, visual depiction. A winner!"
Ed Young, Caldecott medalist, Seven Blind Mice

Dance is a means to tell stories across cultures and in The Cambodian Dancer: Sophany’s Gift of Hope, we discover how it can also be used as a way to overcome immense pain and loss. Daryn Reicherter’s moving story and Christy Hale’s beautiful illustrations introduce us to Sophany Bay and show us how central dance was to her life. When she was forced to leave Cambodia, dance became the means for her to heal and help others connect with the culture. This is an important book that reminds us all that no matter what happens, we need to live. We need to dance.
John Coy, award-winning author

“Hale’s multimedia illustrations show dancers in classic poses wearing happy, serene faces, while cleverly interwoven iconic elements, such as costumes and relief sculptures, highlight Cambodian culture. This fictionalized story of hope and resilience, inspired by Sophany’s experiences and retold in Khmer on the endpapers, will speak to young readers while introducing them to Cambodian culture and recent history.” —Booklist

“A general purchase for libraries needing picture books on Cambodian culture and history and those looking to diversify their shelves.” —School Library Journal

"Sophany's inspiring story of resilience is gracefully animated by Christy Hale's illustration. The book's images seem to glide, glitter, and gently smile, evoking the spirit of Cambodian culture, preserved in its dance." -
Mark Reibstein, New York Times Best-selling author of Wabi-Sabi

"Christy Hale's bright, expressive art delights and educates, spanning cultures and continents to bring the story of Cambodian dance to American readers. A beautifully rendered exploration of Sophany's journey."
Lisa Brown, bestselling author/illustrator
look inside