Title: A DIFFERENT POND
Author: BAO PHI
Illustrator: THI BUI
Genre: FICTION, CHILDREN’S FICTION, IMMIGRANT FICTION, MULTICULTURAL FICTION
Length: 32 PAGES
Type of Book: JACKETED PAPER-OVER-BOARD
Ages: 4 TO 8
Received From: NETGALLEY
Release Date: AUGUST 2017
Price: $15.95 U.S. / $19.95 CAN
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
FROM THE BACK COVER:
An unforgettable story about a simple event – a long-ago fishing trip. A young boy wakes early, hours before his father’s long workday begins, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis.
Unlike many anglers, the boy and his father fish for food, not recreation. A successful catch means a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, the boy’s father tells him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. On these early mornings, the young boy begins the hard work of self discovery.
Not only is this book beautifully written and illustrated, but the story within will enchant children while simultaneously evoking a sense of nostalgia in the child’s parents.
Despite the fact that the characters in this gorgeous children’s book are Vietnamese, every child will be able to relate to the main character’s delight in spending time with his father and in the disappointment when he is left behind while his parents go off to work.
Readers will notice that the father and son are fishing for food, rather than fishing for fun. When they have caught enough fish:
“Dad smiles, his teeth broken and white in the dark, because we have a few fish and he knows we will eat tonight.”
This line is an opportunity for parents to talk to their children about the immigrant experience and through this discussion, they can help to foster equality and to help eliminate racism in our society.
It seems trite to say that “Children are our future,” but as cliché as it sounds, it is true.
Books such as this one are important for many reasons. It is important for children of visible minorities to be able to find and read books that show people who look just like them, and that they can relate to. It is equally important that all children are exposed to multicultural books since we live in a multicultural society.
The illustrations in this book are a cross between a graphic novel and a typical children’s book. This unique illustrative style is the PERFECT accompaniment to the story.
I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and suggest that all parents, teachers and librarians put this book on their “To Be Purchased list” or that they go ahead and pre-order a copy today. I predict this book will win many awards upon its release.
*I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
BAO PHI was born in Vietnam and raised in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis.
He is an author, a poet, a community organizer, and a father.
To learn more about this author visit the following links:
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:
THI BUI was born in Vietnam and grew up in California and New York. Now all these places are a part of her.
She draws, writes, and teaches. She recently completed her first graphic novel, THE BEST WE COULD DO (Abrams, 2017), which is about her mother and father.
To learn more about this author/illustrator, visit the following links: