A Different Pond by Bao Phi

A Different Pond

A Different Pond by Bao Phi; illustrated by Thi Bui. 2017. Published by Capstone Young Readers.

Brief summary: A young boy gets up early with his father on a Saturday when most people sleep in. They get ready to go fishing being sure to stop by the bait store to buy minnows. It is before dawn and still a little cold as they stand by the pond fishing. The boy gathers some wood to build a fire. As they wait for a bite, the father and son eat a bologna sandwich. His father talks about how he fished at a pond like this when he was a boy in Vietnam. They catch a few fish and are happy. The sun is starting to rise as they drive back home. The fish in the white bucket will be their dinner later that night. Both of his parents get ready to go to work leaving him to take care of his siblings. After dinner, he goes to sleep dreaming of the pond his father fished from as a child.

Comments: In the back of the book, Boa Phi shares his story of what it was like for his family to come to America as refugees from the war in 1975. He is the youngest of six children. Like the parents in the story, his parents worked multiple jobs as well. Bao Phi shares how they fished for food not as a sport but for food just like the family in this picture book.

Illustrator, Thi Bui, is also born in Vietnam.

The illustrations are done in graphic novel panels at times.

Buy here.

The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton

The Secret of Black Rock

The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton; illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton. 2017. Published by Flying Eye Books.

Brief summary: Erin Pike and her dog, Archie, live in a fishing town. She wants to go out to sea but is told it is too dangerous because of Black Rock. She hears many legends of the rock and wants to find out for herself what it is all about. Erin keeps hiding in her mother’s fishing boat, but is discovered by Archie and sent home. Erin’s decides to hide among the fish, so Archie does not sniff her out. Her plan is successful as she hides in the boat. The fog becomes so thick that Erin can barely see anything, so she leans over the boat to get a better look and falls overboard when the boat turns suddenly to avoid Black Rock. She falls down into the black sea discovering another world.  She is rescued by an unexpected savior. When  Erin is back home, she explains to all the townspeople about her rescue. No one believes her until one moonlit night, the fishermen and fisherwomen go out to take a closer look at Black Rock.

Comments: There is one foldout that will give readers the overall idea of what Black Rock is and what life depends upon it.  Fun adventure story. This could be used to ask children what they think Black Rock is and what they can predict what will happen as the story unfolds.

Buy here.

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