Logo of Big Brother Mouse, publishing books in Laos
 

Here's what visitors say about Big Brother Mouse

Naturally, we're excited about getting books to more places in Laos. So are people who have visited, helped us, and seen what we're doing. Here are some of their comments.

A book party in Laos Our eight-year-old granddaughter Beth (1) thought the book party was the best bit of our trip round SE Asia (2) spoke for three-quarters of an hour about it in her class "show and tell" session. Most "Show and Tell" last about 2 minutes, but Beth was so articulate and enthusiastic, the class sat enthralled and her teacher let her run.
 – Jackie Cunliffe, England
(Jackie and her grandchildren also sponsored The Hungry Frog, our very popular beginning-reader book.)

I visited BBM in Luang Prabang and then gave the books to a very thankful teacher. What bliss! In return they sang a song. I'm going to buy more books!
 – Anna Trisia Beby, Netherlands/Indonesia

We bought a few of your books and donated them in villages. Teachers and students were thrilled!!!
 – Moon S. Hong and Jonathan Cohen, Korea and Australia

My niece and I sponsored a book party in October and joined the team to visit a local village school. The calibre of the book party staff and their engagement with the pupils was impressive – the children hung on their every word of every story. They had the children in the palm of their hands – having fun and learning at the same time. My brief time with children in the classroom was memory that I will have forever- seeing that light bulb moment when the child understands what to do in the activity book and there face and eyes just light up. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to share your unique work.

We also both volunteered to teach English on a couple of afternoons and again these were enormously rewarding experiences for us and hopefully also for those seeking to expand their knowledge and English skills.
 – Anne Prince, Sydney, Australia

THANK YOU so very much for the four excellent Book Parties!! I had high expectations based on the good quality books that you produce and the team exceeded my expectations!

A novice monk enjoys reading a book of traditional stories. These children are from poor families, but now they have books to read and learn about the world. Their reading skills have already improved a lot.
 – Phoonsook Bhandasak, headmaster, Pakseuang village,
 quoted in SCMP magazine, Hong Kong, 29 March 2011

I just want you to know what an amazing experience our book party was. Thank you so much for coordinating it so we could go along with the team. Your team was phenomenal! They were organized, great with the kids, and excellent teachers. They were wonderful at letting me "help" and interact with the kids. I loved every second.
  Seeing the village and school conditions were extremely humbling. Several times throughout the day, I was fighting back tears. I couldn't believe how bare the classrooms were.... no papers, pencils or books. I brought back with me a sense of how lucky we are here in the States, and how much we take for granted. I am currently working on a presentation for a few classes at my school. I am hoping that I can help to convey some of what I experienced during the book party to the elementary school students.
  The joy on the students' faces throughout the day's events was unforgettable. They were so excited by such little things, like a pencil or a cookie. They were thrilled a each receiving a book to keep. Listening to all 70 students reading through their books was the highlight of the day for me. This event will stay with me for the rest of my life.
  Thank you again!
 – Kristen Fry, United States

It was a great pleasure to meet you and to take part in several conversation classes [with young people practicing English] and a wonderful book party. These were amazing experiences for us, but far more importantly were clearly of transformative value for the Lao who were involved.
  The organization and delivery of the book party was particularly impressive. As I mentioned to you, your staff were fabulous. They engaged easily with the kids, and the kids were totally engaged by them. The structure and pacing of the morning was brilliant---the quiet written exercises at the start as the kids got comfortable with the strangers in their midst, the enthusiastic outdoor play, the interactive songs which had them singing out, acting out and laughing out, the readings and story-telling, and then the selection of a treasured book. Wonderful to see and also wonderful to consider the significant long term impacts of a single morning.
  We had one similar experience with the four sets of books we took to villages we visited with our extremely helpful guide, Sengkham. While in three villages we essentially left the books with one or more teachers or leaders, in the fourth, which was downstream from Nong Khiau, we had, thanks to Sengkham, pretty much the full book party experience. After quite extensive discussions between Sengkham and the school Director, the Director took charge and organized the kids very much as your guideline suggests. They assembled and sang the Big Brother Mouse song (your staff had been by a couple of years ago), then they lined up by grade and waited while the Director and the teachers organized the books by age-suitability. After that each grade came by one student at a time, and after a polite thank you to the Director (importantly, not to us), each student received a book with great but quiet glee.
  What then transpired was deeply impressive---each age/grade cohort then ran to a separate location on the grounds, sat in a circle and read and shared their books with complete absorption---even the older boys. This went on for about 30-45 minutes, after which they started to drift back to the table to trade for another book, holding tightly to theirs and lighting up the morning with their smiles.
  We then left after having spent one of the best two-hour periods of our lives.
 – Doug Ewart, Canada

My husband and I volunteered at Big Brother Mouse in Luang Prabang last month, and we wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed your organization. Your mission is awesome, the feeling of the center inspiring, and the books you produce are culturally sensitive and beautiful. I so respected what you are doing that I have engaged my mother, a retired English teacher, in the idea of your book parties. Please know that she and I are talking about how to fundraise for book parties or other needs you might have.
  Our time in Luang Prabang was significant and altering; in just six days we felt a part of the community. Tamarind, Ock Pop Tok, and Big Brother Mouse seem to us to be setting the bar high on how to introduce tourists to local culture with dignity and sensitivity. We hope to return to Luang Prabang in the future. Please know that Big Brother Mouse will be one of our first stops there.
 – Laura Kaufman, USA

We just wanted to say Thank You again for the wonderful experience in joining the book party in Ban Huag Lek. It has been one of the most memorable moments for us on our 3 month trip!
 – Dan & Kelsey Stiefvater, Canada

Fantastic program, we'd love to see something similar in our country.
 – Rick & Tracy Johnson, South Africa

My daughter is 2 year and 4 months old and she loves your books. She already knows the alphabet. Her favorite book is Fun With Fruit by Sonesulilat. She takes it to bed with her every night.
 – Bounyang, Udom Xai, Laos
(Bounyang sells our books in Udom Xai, and has been active in introducing the pleasures of reading to people of all ages in that province.)

It is good to know there are people using their talents and initiative to promote literacy. I feel much more comfortable with the idea of giving books to children than promoting dependence with money gifts.
 – Tahira and Sariya Warburton, England

This is a fantastic project. I will teach my students back home about your great work.
 – Fiona Black, Australia

I'm not usually excited to get email newletters. Yours is the exception. I was in Luang Praband for a couple of days in late October, and luckily encountered BBM and got on the mailing list. Your newsletter took me right back and reminded me what a great job you're doing there.
 – Gary Hall, Thailand

I had the pleasure of buying books (The Wonders of the World) from you and giving them as gifts for people who helped us during our stay. I gave one book on our last morning to an older woman who had shared her mat with me every morning when I was giving alms to the monks. She was so pleased as were the women around us with the book, everyone read the book, then a woman who spoke some English passed it back to me. When they realized I was giving the book to the oldest woman, she clapped her hands and the smiles were so real and large. That was such a powerful experience for me.
 – Marsha Canick, United States

 The parties were well planned, carried out with enthusiasm and skill and were lots of fun for the kids. I saw many of the teachers really enjoying them as well. Some of the teachers were making notes so they could incorporate some of the ideas into their teaching. Some of the teachers expressed interest in having BBM do a week of teacher training!!
 Yesterday, it was great to walk down the road, or pop into some of the neighbors houses, and see kids reading BBM books!
 –Lloyd and Darlene, Tonsivit Vocational Center, Phonsavan, Xieng Khouang Province

This was my second visit. The kids loved the books, so I came back for more.
 – Park Il, Korea

I bought 10 books in Luang Namtha and gave them away in villages, and kids LOVED it! Great idea!
 – Kate Porigow, USA

Brilliant! I gave some of these books to a tribe who let us stay in their village. I gave them to the chief and 10 minutes later his children had stolen the books from him and were excitedly reading them. Great feeling, great work!
 – Tom Osborn, England