A Different Pond by Bao Phi

A Different Pond

Acclaimed poet Bao Phi delivers a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son and between cultures, old and new. A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event--a long-ago fishing trip. 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 succe...

Details A Different Pond

TitleA Different Pond
Release DateAug 1st, 2017
PublisherPicture Window Books
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Family, Cultural

Reviews A Different Pond

  • Mischenko
    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 ...
  • Michael
    Beautiful in its simplicity. Highly recommended.
  • Jeimy
    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.
  • Carla Johnson-Hicks
    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 b...
  • Bill
    “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 ...
  • Ilana
    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...
  • Elizabeth Willis
    "A kid at school said my dad's English sounds like a think, dirty river... But to me his English sounds like gentle rain."
  • BookishDubai
    A bit too simple for my taste.
  • 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. Hi...
  • Tasha
    Written and illustrated by two Vietnamese-Americans, this picture book captures the author’s experience as a child accompanying his father to a local fishing pond. The two of them are up early since his father has to head to second job that he just got. They stop at the bait shop and pick up minnows. Then head to the pond, where the boy’s father fishes and the boy builds a fire for them. It’s cool during this Minnesota dawn. The two share s...
  • Sarah (Books Before Bandaids)
    Bao and his family came to America as refugees from Vietnam and now live between two cultures. With beautiful illustrations, this children’s book in graphic novel style tells the story of a trip Bao took with his father to get dinner at the pond. Together the two shared stories of the past, allowing Bao to better understand the hardships faced by his family. Bao Phi’s powerful words speak of a connection to our roots and memories of the past,...
  • Martha
    All the stars to this gorgeous, poignant, touching picture book about a father and child spending quality time together fishing on a lake in Minneapolis. There is so much love in these pages.
  • Andrea Scherer
    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 ever...
  • Theresa Grissom
    Thanks to Netgalley for this book.This was an interesting book. Good story. Not sure that the students in my library will be attracted to this book or enjoy it much. As an adult, I liked it.
  • Brenda Kahn
    This picture-book graphic novel memoir is lovely in every way and a perfect addition to the WNDB shelf. It will make for a thought-provoking, discussion inducing read aloud for many age levels. Fuller review on my blog soon.
  • Simona Dreca
    Thanks to Netgalley for the preview.The main character of this illustrated book is a Vietnamese child, whose family has moved to the US.The family is very poor, the parents have to perform two jobs to support their children. Everyone plays a role in order to help others.The relationship between father and son is outlined in a beautiful manner. The tenderness with which the child says "I can help" and the kindness with which his father allows him ...
  • Danielle
    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.
  • Becky B
    A little boy and his father go fishing early on a Saturday morning. As they fish you learn that the family has recently come to American from Vietnam where the father lost a brother in the war, and they are fishing for dinner because things in America are so expensive.This is a quiet book. The color tones are muted and cool, largely to set the tone of fishing before the sun comes up. But it is also quiet in theme. On the surface, it’s just a bo...
  • Christina Reid
    A kid of school said my dad's English sounds like a thick, dirty river.But to me his English sounds like gentle rain.This is a beautiful book with evocative illustrations and poetic language. It provides the perspective of a Vietnamese family who has immigrated to America and is told through a son and father going for a fishing trip.I liked how the palette of colour used in the illustrations changes depending on the setting, with warm earth colou...
  • Barbara
    Drawing from his personal experiences, author Bao Phi tells a deceptively simple story about getting up early to fish with his father. From awakening quietly so they don't disturb his mother to heading to the store for bait to heading to the pond where the fish await, the story is told in elegant, evocative language; for instance, the boy describes how his father's "English sounds like gentle rain" (unpaged). While they fish, the father chats wit...
  • Wayne McCoy
    People ask me why I read children's books. It's because of books like 'A Different Pond' by Bao Phi with illustrations by Thi Bui. It is a children's picture book which uses a quiet power to tell a very deep story. A young boy and his father go fishing. During the course of the trip, the father remembers another fishing trip in another time and country. In both stories, a caught fish means food on the table. Soon the father and son have to go hom...
  • Cheriee Weichel
    This story of a Vietnamese refuge family adjusting to their new life in America in the 1970's is a must read. It is beautiful on so many levels. Thi Bui's illustrations are flat out gorgeous! Together these two artists convoke a fragment of time that highlights a relationship between a young boy and is father that is so loving, it made my heart swell and my eyes water. Bao's father wakes him up early one morning, before the sun is up, to go fishi...
  • That One Librarian
    A Different Pond is a captivating, heartfelt picture book from Bao Phi and Thi Bui. Bao Phi tells the story of being a boy in America in the late 1970s, a refugee from Vietnam. He recounts getting up before dawn to go fish in the river with his father. His father works two jobs, but that isn't enough to support the family without finding their own food. While its clear that this is a difficult life, the boy also seems very content, surrounded by ...
  • Psusan
    Powerful and poignant is A Different Pond by Bao Phi. The story is lovely, unpretentious with its down-to-earth style of telling the story if first generations immigrants. The title of a different pond conveys feelings the changes and displacement that the family that the family is going though in a new country. I so appreciated the author’s note and would consider it a must to include when reading this book to children. The text is short but p...
  • Kyra Nay
    A father and son, fishing together at their usual spot, up before the sun. But these two aren't just fishing for fun - the fish they catch will be tonight's dinner for the family. A Different Pond manages to be an unflinching presentation of the harsh realities faced by this family (ostracized for their English pronunciation, both parents working multiple jobs, etc.) while also ultimately serving as a warm familial tale. Picture books like this, ...
  • Linda V
    Thank you Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for a fair review.A beautifully illustrated book that gently handles the topic of struggling immigrant families. While fishing, a Vietnamese father connects the experience to his childhood. His young son recognizes that as an immigrant family there are challenges- his parents work at multiple jobs and their fishing trips are for food, not sport. I liked the feeling of a close family working together to...
  • M
    A poignant story of a young boy's memory of fishing with his father, for food rather than recreation, and a necessary and insightful look into the hardships and experiences of refugee families. Realistic illustrations emphasize the feelings and emotional journey of the characters. A recommended purchase for your picture book collection!
  • Mary Librarian
    A Vietnamese father and son go early morning fishing to help make ends meet. An immigrant story that shows the family already in the United States but struggling to survive in their new country. The earth tone illustrations, mostly blues to capture the nighttime/early morning fishing are poignant. There is a warmth to the darkness and the family relationship captured on the page.
  • Victoria Peipert
    This was a very sweet book. The illustrations were beautiful and the story was a very heartwarming perspective of an immigrant family and their relationships. The bond shared between the child and father through experiencing an everyday yet culturally inherited activity together (fishing for food) brings this short story full circle. The authors own experiences are evident and shine.
  • Chacha (Vanessa) Centeno
    Authentic, raw and real. Those are the thoughts I had while reading this story. A story of a Vietnamese father and his son going to fish. The father works two jobs, the mother one. The struggle to make ends-meat is depicted in a way that is so real, those who have experienced it will totally fall into the story.