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 successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. The New York Times has said that Bao Phi's poetry "rhymes with the truth." Together with graphic novelist Thi Bui's striking, evocative art, Phi's expertly crafted prose reflects an immigrant family making its way in a new home while honoring its bonds to the past.

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Book TitleA Different Pond
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A Different Pond Reviews

  • Mischenko
    Dec 31, 1969


    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 li...

  • Michael
    Dec 31, 1969


    Beautiful in its simplicity. Highly recommended. ...

  • Jeimy
    Dec 31, 1969


    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
    Dec 31, 1969

    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 ...

  • Bill
    Dec 31, 1969


    “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 ...

  • Ilana
    Dec 31, 1969


    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...

  • Elizabeth Willis
    Dec 31, 1969

    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
    Dec 31, 1969


    A bit too simple for my taste. ...

  • Alex Baugh
    Dec 31, 1969

    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 ...

  • Sarah (Books Before Bandaids)
    Dec 31, 1969

    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...