Long before dawn, a boy and his father wake and quietly, companionably, drive to a pond at the city limit to fish for supper. In melting blues, deep red, occasional gold, and crisp inked outlines, we see the small fire the boy starts with a single match, the shared sandwiches, and the father's face as he speaks to his son of a different pond in Vietnam where he and his brother fished together. Returning home, the boy helps his mother clean the fish, and both parents leave for work. In the evening, with his older siblings laughing and delicious food on the table, the kitchen bulb tenderly illuminates our narrator and his family.
A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls "a must-read for our times," 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.