A Different Pond

By: Bao Phi

Illustrator: Thi Bui

Acclaimed poet Bao Phi delivers a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son—and between cultures, old and new. Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Full-color illustrations.

ISBN: 9781479597468

JLG Release: Nov 2017


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: Vietnamese Americans , Immigrants , Fathers and sons , Fishing , Family life

$17.05  Member Price

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Multicultural Elementary

Grades 2-6

12 titles/year

$210.60/year

Awards & Honors

2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor, Picture Book
2018 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Honor, Writer
2018 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Honor, Illustrator
2018 Randolph Caldecott Medal Honor
2018 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, Picture Book
2018 Charlotte Zolotow Award Winner
Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book 2018 Capitol Choices 2018, Seven to Ten
Booklist Top 10 Diverse Picture Books: 2018
ALSC Notable Children’s Books 2018, Middle
CCBC Choices 2018 Choice: Picture Books for School-Age Children
Goodreads Choice Awards 2017, Picture Books
Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2017, Picture Books Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017, Picture Books
Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2017, Picture Books
CSMCL Best Multicultural Children’s Books of 2017
School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2017, Picture Books
Horn Book Fanfare List 2017, Picture Books
Shelf Awareness 2017 Best Books of the Year, Picture Books
Booklist Top of the List Editor’s Choice, Fiction Young Readers
New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2017
The Washington Post Best Books Children’s Books of 2017, Picture Books

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
This gorgeous tale about a father/son fishing trip shows the interconnectedness of family and the inexorable way that generational history impacts the present. The story is told from the boy’s perspective, as his father wakes him long before dawn to go fishing. Although the child enjoys the outing as a special adve
[STARRED REVIEW]
This gorgeous tale about a father/son fishing trip shows the interconnectedness of family and the inexorable way that generational history impacts the present. The story is told from the boy’s perspective, as his father wakes him long before dawn to go fishing. Although the child enjoys the outing as a special adventure with his dad, they are fishing for food, not sport, and they must be home in time for the father to leave for work. The quiet time together provides opportunities for the man to talk about his past life fishing with his brother in a different pond in Vietnam, long ago before the war and before coming to America. After they return home, triumphant, with a bucket of fish, the boy contemplates his role as the youngest in the family—no longer a baby—and even though he is sad that both his parents have to work, he knows there will be a happy, love-filled family dinner later that night. Bui’s cinematic illustrations make use of panels and weighted lines, evoking the perfect background or facial expression for each piece of text. The text placement and composition of the illustrations allow each occurrence or observation to be its own distinct event, stringing together the small, discrete moments that make up a life, a memory, and a history into a cohesive whole. VERDICT This gentle coming-of-age story is filled with loving, important aspects of the immigrant experience and is a first purchase for all libraries.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
Hours before sunrise, a father and son go fishing for that night’s meal. So begins this powerfully understated picture book, which shifts the focus of the refugee narrative from the harrowing journey to the reality awaiting the family members once they reach their destination (in this case, the United States). With
[STARRED REVIEW]
Hours before sunrise, a father and son go fishing for that night’s meal. So begins this powerfully understated picture book, which shifts the focus of the refugee narrative from the harrowing journey to the reality awaiting the family members once they reach their destination (in this case, the United States). With evocative detail and a keen ear for metaphor (“A kid at my school said my dad’s English sounds like a thick, dirty river. But to me his English sounds like gentle rain”; “I feel the bag of minnows move. They swim like silver arrows in my hands”), Phi hints at the family’s joys and struggles. And whether it’s tentative discussion of “the war” and the father’s childhood in Vietnam or a calendar showing the year 1982, the book is filled with cultural specificity. Bui (whose illustrated memoir for adults The Best We Could Do was also published this year) sets the mood with expressive brushwork and colors that alternate between warm oranges and reds in the home and cool blues in the chilly pre-dawn air. By the end, it’s clear that the small struggles that make up everyday life are the very things that bind the family together. The father and son return home that morning with a fish but, more importantly, a fond memory that will help make this new country feel like home. The ponds may be different here, but the water reflects life just the same. minh lê

Book Details

ISBN

9781479597468

First Release

November 2017

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

11" x 9"

Page Count

32

Accelerated Reader

Level 3.1; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 3.5; Points: 3;

Lexile

Level 620L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Capstone Young Readers

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

Vietnamese Americans, Immigrants, Fathers and sons, Fishing, Family life,

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A Different Pond

by Bao Phi

Multicultural Elementary

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