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A Different Pond

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  3,995 ratings  ·  837 reviews
As a young boy, Bao Phi 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. ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Picture Window Books
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Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Different Pond by Bao Phi is a children's book about a family who came to America (Minnesota) from Vietnam as refugees.

The story is mainly about Bao and his father's trip to the pond to fetch dinner. During the trip, Bao learns about why his mom and dad have to work so hard for a living as everything has an expense.

It's a simple read for young children and the illustrations keep their interest. The book has a graphic novel feel to it and has an artsy appearance. It's no surprise as the illus
Dave Schaafsma
Edited to reflect that A Different Pond, a book I love, was given a Caldecott Honor Book Award for 2018, yay! Much deserved! My favorite of the Goodreads picture book nominees of the year. And yes, I think whether you are have kids at home or not that you should get picture books from the library; many are just amazing.

Original 11/22/17 review: Each year my family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books, and we have been doing this for years. Everyone rates each book and adds a com
The focus of this story is a simple morning fishing trip. A father and son have woken up early to fish before he must go to his 2nd job. These fish are going to be their meal for the evening. The story illustrates the hardships of being an immigrant in a foreign land. There is much struggle and hardship.

Still, the peaceful early morning time fishing is calm and peaceful. It is a special time between father and son. The story is soft and quiet and calm. There is tenderness between father and son
Indeed, I have found the storyline of Bao Phi's A Different Pond both informative and engaging, not to mention majorly eye-opening (and as such an emotionally present immigration account that should in my humble opinion be read by EVERYONE, but especially by those of us who seem to somehow think that immigrants and refugees are basically just drains on a given's country's economy and resources, that they supposedly are lazy and just seem to exist for their social welfare payments and charity, so ...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Assigned reading for MLIS 7421: Multicultural Youth Literature.

There's not a lot to this book, but that's part of why it works so well; it's just a story of a little boy, the youngest in a family of Vietnamese immigrants, waking up early on a Saturday morning to go fishing for dinner with his father while musing over the idea of his father as a child, fishing on a Saturday morning in a very similar pond, on the other side of the globe. It touches lightly on how difficult it is for their family t
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
It's a simple story of a boy and his father rising early to go fishing before the father must go to work at his second job, but it's also the rich intersections between the American and Vietnamese cultures, between the old and the new lives. The illustrations are lush and filled with lots of space for the quiet and for the spaces between the boy and his father and for the lack of things in their lives. A wonderful story. ...more
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This completely drew me in with its descriptive, beautiful language and imagery. The story of a boy going fishing with his father early one Saturday morning in order to feed the family is about so much more.
Pretty, pretty illustrations. Picture book. Actually read it twice, the second time after the acknowledgements at end so i could go back to look closer at details. Read another book by the illustrator The Best We Could Do.
Richie Partington
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
Richie’s Picks: A DIFFERENT POND by Bao Phi and Thi Bui, ill., Capstone, August 2017, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-62370-803-0

“Dad wakes me quietly so Mom can keep sleeping. It will be hours before the sun comes up.
In the kitchen the bare bulb is burning. Dad has been up for a while, making sandwiches and packing the car.
‘Can I help?’ I ask.
‘Sure,’ my dad whispers and hands me the tackle box.”

With quiet, transcendent words and illustrations, the semi-autobiographical A DIFFERENT POND is a masterpiece of a
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, children
This is a great story to read when studying about multi-culturalism, heritage, and customs around the world. Bao, a young Vietnamese boy wakes very early on a Saturday morning to go fishing with his father in a pond nearby. He explains that everything in America is expensive, and even though he is working two jobs, he still has to fish for dinner. While they are together, the father tells Bao about fishing in another pond far away, as well as a bit about the war where he and his brother were sol ...more
Liza Wiemer
An important, meaningful story with beautiful drawings that convey the life of struggling immigrants. A perfect book to talk about diversity and life's challenges. I highly, highly recommend. ...more
This....I didn't know what to expect when I decided to read this picture book. I think that it's phenomenal. Not only was the artwork vibrant and beautifully in line with the text, but it told of deeper stories of immigrants, refugees, and the attitudes that Americans can sometimes have of those who are simply trying to make a better life for their families. One of the most captivating aspects of the this book is that it is based on Bao Phi's experiences with his father. They immigrated to the U ...more
Elizabeth A
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, art, kids-ya
"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 immigrant experience is both universal and unique, and this picture book for kids explores themes of displacement, family, and making sense of the world around you. I'm delighted that there is more diversity in books available for kids this days, and while I appreciated this one, I enjoyed the art more than the actual text. A question I'd ask parents who read this one to
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful in its simplicity. Highly recommended.
Shauna Yusko
Love this one so much! Why have I not read it before now?!
Alex  Baugh
In an age that is seeing an increase in the number of refugees fleeing their countries seeking safety comes a simple, but powerful semi-autobiographical story from poet Bao Phi. Phi, his parents and siblings were refugees from Vietnam who came to the United States in 1975. And as with most refugees, those early years were difficult.

Early one morning before the sun has even risen, Phi's father wakes up his son from a sound sleep to go fishing. His father has already made bologna sandwiches and p
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A young boy wakes early in the morning, on a weekend day, to join his father for a couple of hours for fishing in a pond nearby. The time spent together is an opportunity to share life stories, especially from the 'old country', but also short remarks about life. 'Everything in America costs a lot of money, he explains. I feel callouses in his hand when he squeezes mine'.
Both the writer and the illustrator were born in Vietnam and arrived in the USA following the civil war, and one can seize th
Andrea Lorenz
Bao Phi tells the story of an early early morning fishing trip with his father. The trip is not for recreation; it is for food. Bao's father and mother immigrated to America from Vietnam and worked hard to raise a family. A Different Pond is a quiet book, but it tells an important story. The lives of immigrants are frequently more challenging than those of natives - Bao talks about his father's English, how hard his parents have to work, how everything costs money and they stretch their resource ...more
I was fortunate to receive this Caldecott Honor Nominee at BEA 2018. This simple story of a father/son fishing trip is powered by the emotionally detailed artwork, specifically the endearing facial expressions of the characters. This is a quiet story about family, immigrants, culture, home and hope that transports the reader. Both the writer and illustrator were born in Vietnam and raised in the US. Adults should also read illustrator Thi Bui’s stunning graphic novel memoir, The Best We Could Do ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books I love SO much that I hesitate to even write a review. I'm afraid I could never do it justice. Simply put, this book is a delight. It's important, too. A Different Pond is beautiful in spirit, in illustration, in the simple story, and the way the words are strung together quite carefully. It may sound odd to say, but this is a book with a gentle, mighty heart. Read it. ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
A really different perspective on growing up in America. I loved how the father gently cared for his wife and son. Indeed, the bond between father & son is clearly communicated, and they truly appreciate their family culture. I am so very glad this book was nominated for best picture book of 2017 on Goodreads, as I might not have come across it and would have missed out on a wonderful read!
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Important, interesting, enlightening... but I have to admit that I didn't find it engaging. The author's and illustrator's notes are fantastic, however. I do recommend this to educators, including homeschooling families. ...more
Elizabeth Willis
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, picture-books
"A kid at school said my dad's English sounds like a think, dirty river... But to me his English sounds like gentle rain." ...more
A bit too simple for my taste.
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simple, elegant story inspired by the author's childhood of the sacrifices parents make to offer their children a better life than the ones they had while growing up. ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Everyday moments of son and his immigrant during a early morning fishing trip. Powerful in its' tenderness. ...more
Ms. B
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A touching story about a father and son. Based on the childhood experiences of the author and illustrator. It's nice to see this one be awarded with a Caldecott Honor! ...more
Maggi Rohde
A quiet portrait of a Vietnamese father and his young son, doing what needs to be done to get by in America. Touching and evocative, this is a perfect exemplar text for writing workshop (2nd-3rd).
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Dad wakes me quietly so Mom can keep sleeping. It will be hours before the sun comes up.” Thus begins A Different Pond, a lovely, quiet little tale of a young boy who goes fishing with his immigrant father, written by Bao Phi and illustrated by Thi Bui. Together they get up early, pick up bait at the shop, make their way to their usual pond, catch a few fish, then head home just as the sun begins to rise.

One of the major themes of the story is his father’s hard-working nature, something we’re i
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I spent some time exploring the many resources given to us for this week’s trade books search. However, I often found I didn’t have access to the many gorgeous books I wanted to read! In order to assure I had access to the book I chose, I searched for the Caldecott winners present and available in the MLS Commonwealth eBook Collection. This book happened to actually be currently unavailable, but I really wanted to read it so I found a read aloud video on YouTube. I really wish I had been able t ...more
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Sheets #4-A Different Pond (Refugee, Poverty, Vietnamese) 1 2 Jun 13, 2019 08:15PM  

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