A Different Pond / by Bao Phi; illustrated by Thi Bui. 7.2.2018

Capstone ISBN 9781623708030

PRI K-Grade 2 Rating: 5

Poet Bao Phi offers his son, while fishing on a small pond in Minneapolis, a story of how he and his father before him fished for food in their homeland of Vietnam. This 2018 Caldecott Honor Book brings together issues of diversity, culture, and immigration without using platitudes. The personal story offers many positive messages about family values that highlight the relationship between father and son and between cultures, old and new.

Illustrator Thi Bui’s art offers a striking exhibit of Phi’s prose through illustrations with depth and a quiet, moving emotion. Using a dominant blue background with insets, Bui presents a powerful picture and experience of an immigrant family making its way in a new home while honoring its bonds to the past. The use of varying blues and then illustrations that offer a close-up view as well as an overall view of a scene enables children to linger in the family relationships so integral to the story. Both author and illustrator provide a closing note after the story.

Leroy Hommerding, CLJ