Children's Bookshelf: A Different Pond

Feb 5, 2018

A Different Pond written by poet Bao Phi and illustrated by graphic artist Thi Bui is a touching story about a family from Vietnam and how the mom and dad go about raising their family in America, their new home.

This picture book, told in first person by the young boy, is softly spoken and beautifully genuine. The boy is aware of the fact that his dad works two jobs, his mother also works and sometimes his classmates say difficult things. “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.”

The star-laden sky and the blueness of the pond before the sun comes up, where the father has taken his young son to fish for that night’s dinner, wraps the story in a cloak of love. The soft mist of the early morning and the sweetness of the interaction between dad and son are beautifully captured in both poetic words and tender pictures.

The boy carefully builds a fire to keep them warm using dry sticks as he has been taught while his dad baits the line and begins to fish. Then, as they eat cold sandwiches packed by dad in the early morning hours, his dad shares memories of a different pond that he fished in when he was a boy in Vietnam. Stories bring dad and son close.

A Different Pond written by Bao Phi and illustrated by Bao Phi is a beautiful story for 6-8 year olds about the immigrant experience, family, hard work, love and memories (Capstone Young Readers/ Capstone, 2017).

Questions & activities for A Different Pond

This picture book, told in first person by the young boy, is softly spoken and beautifully genuine. The boy is aware of the fact that his dad works two jobs, his mother also works and sometimes his classmates say difficult things. “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.”

The star-laden sky and the blueness of the pond before the sun comes up, where the father has taken his young son to fish for that night’s dinner, wraps the story in a cloak of love. The soft mist of the early morning and the sweetness of the interaction between dad and son are beautifully captured in both poetic words and tender pictures.

The boy carefully builds a fire to keep them warm using dry sticks as he has been taught while his dad baits the line and begins to fish. Then, as they eat cold sandwiches packed by dad in the early morning hours, his dad shares memories of a different pond that he fished in when he was a boy in Vietnam. Stories bring dad and son close.