A Different Pond


In the early morning, while the family and the rest of the world are asleep, Bao’s father awakens him to go fishing. They head to A Different Pond from that in which Bao’s father fished in his native Vietnam. Bao’s father speaks little about the war that led him to flee his home country. Yet Bao knows the struggles, from the loss of a brother, the scars of fighting, and the difficulties of starting a new life in a sometimes hostile new land.

Somehow, in the early morning light, there is a conviviality and connection. We keep pace with the pair, and meet the fellow fishermen. Bao Phi’s gentle text and the gloriously, empathetic morning lit pictures of Thi Bui, offer a sensitive glimpse of peace and tranquility. Yet Bao and we know that this morning is only a moment; Bao’s father has another job, a weekend job, to which he’s agreed. It’s all about sacrifice, moving forward, bearing the scars and surviving.

Bookwagon is proud to recommend and share A Different Pond with our readers. This is a monumental, moving and beautiful book.

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A Different Pond

written by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui


A Different Pond lies in Vietnam where Bao’s father used to fish. Now the two are heading to a Minnesota pond in the early morning to fish. They stop at the bait shop first, where Bao overhears that his father has taken another job to support his family.
Bao Phi’s memories of fishing with his father form this award-winning, heart warming picture book. We feel the bonds between the two; see the father understand how the boy cannot bait the minnow, understand the boy’s wonderings about his father’s war-torn past. Furthermore there is much to consider in this story. What happened to Bao’s uncle? Why are his father’s teeth so broken? Why do the neighbourhood boys say that Bao’s father’s ‘English is like a thick, dirty river’? What happens to the family?
Like My Name is Not Refugee this title is a proud story that recognises the real-life efforts and needs of immigrant families. It is a respectful, proud, beautiful picture book that merits attention, reading and knowing. Bookwagon is proud to present A Different Pond to our readers.

Caldecott Honor winning title


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