A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. An honest look into a relationship between father and son.
A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event – a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son – and between cultures, old and new.
As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family.
Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Thi Bui’s striking, evocative art paired with Phi’s expertly crafted prose has earned this powerful picture books six starred reviews and numerous awards.
About the Author
His first children’s book, A Different Pond, received six starred reviews and won multiple awards including a Caldecott Honor, an Ezra Jack Keats Honor, Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association award for best picture book, the Minnesota Book Award for picture books, and the Charlotte Zolotow Award for excellence in children’s book writing. It made several best books of the year lists, including Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and Shelf Awareness. Read more about him here.
A Few Reviews
A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls “a must-read for our times,”
“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