Vietnam: A Different Pond

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 Xin chào friends! That is how they say hello in the country of Vietnam.

I welcome you from my cozy nest high up in the trees of West Sumatra! Today, I share a beautiful Vietnamese multicultural story for Multicultural Children's Book Day (MCBD)! Last year, I reviewed three wonderful diverse books for MCBD, a non-profit organization. MCBD began five years ago by two kind ladies who love reading and sharing the world with others. Together, they created a day that celebrated books from around the world for kids, families and teachers. Now, their national event helps spread awareness for learning of different cultures and people across the globe. Talk about some amazing stuff!

I had so much fun writing the book reviews last year! I learned a lot about other countries in Asia near my home, countries like Korea, Cambodia and the Philippines. I have a special quote on my website by the great Maya Angelou that I want to share with you:

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”

I believe that through the power of reading and diverse books, we can all learn so much about ourselves and others. Then we can connect on a deeper level and help one another. As you know, I love traveling the world and sharing my adventures with kids and families like you. So being part of this special movement fills me with joy! (Did you like the pun I added in there?)

Before we start our journey through the story, I want to show you where Vietnam (in red) is in our world. Located on the continent of Asia, Vietnam is close to 2,700 miles north of my home in Indonesia. I’d love to visit Vietnam in person one day and share all I learn with you!

Map of Vietnam Photo By Lưu Ly [GFDL] or [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The book I have the pleasure of reviewing is A Different Pond. It is written by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui and published by Capstone Publishers (silver sponsor this year). The author recently won a Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book published in the country. Congratulations Mr. Phi!

The art on the cover of the book grabbed my attention and made me feel like I was by a pond with the characters. The water on the cover has a neat and shiny effect that makes it look like real water! When I opened the book, I read that the author dedicated it to his family and refugees everywhere. It really touched my heart!

The story begins with a little boy and his father getting up early in the morning to go fishing. Even though the hardworking father has a second job, they still need to go fishing to feed their family. The little boy helps his father get supplies and travel to the pond. It was fun seeing all the interesting skills the little boy learns with his father on their journey. I think the time they get to spend together, just the two of them, is very special. I love spending time with my Papa too! Especially when he shares stories of himself as a little sun bear!

I was excited to try some fishing myself, but I guess fish don’t like honeycomb!

Photo By Joy Sun Bear, Inc.

I really admire the author sharing this story to honor his family. They were also refugees who came to live in the United States after fleeing war in Vietnam. Talk about brave! I felt the connection and love the author has for his family in the story. My favorite part of the story is when the whole family gets to enjoy each other’s company for dinner.  The little boy and his dad share the fish they caught that morning with their loved ones. And when he describes the fish sauce, my mouth watered!

After reading the book, I became very curious as to how real kids in Vietnam spend their day. So I found this great video by Plan International Ireland! It is a non-profit organization that helps children around the world live better lives. Here you will meet, 10 year old Xinh and get to see a day in her life in Vietnam.

Wow! Xinh also helps her parents fish just like the little boy in The Different Pond! I also love how helpful Xinh is to her family, just like the little boy in the story. Xinh wants to be a doctor one day and help people in her community stay healthy. Way to go, Xinh!

Well, it’s about time for this little sun bear to get to bed. If you get the chance, I think you should read The Different Pond, so you can enjoy this beautiful and special multicultural book with your family too. I am going to share it with my family tomorrow during our family reading time!

Oh, I almost forgot! Please don’t forget to read below to learn more about MCBD and their wonderful sponsors! They even have a Free Empathy Classroom Kit for all educators below. I also found this great book companion for A Different Pond that you can enjoy while reading the book. Thank you to The Wise Owl Factory for creating this great resource!

Thanks for reading friends and Tạm biệt (goodbye)!

-Joy Sun Bear

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.  

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal Bowe, Gokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo,  Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles,  Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen,  Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party!

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

Author: joysunbear

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2 thoughts on “Vietnam: A Different Pond”

  1. Your book, A Different Pond, is a good book to read because the book has dirty water that they have to drink and we can stop that so they have clean and healthy body. I am Lachlan from Mrs Joyce grade in 5/6J.

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