Saturday, January 27, 2018

Multicultural Children's Book Day: A Different Pond by Bao Phi and Thi Bui

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.  
I'm proud to participate in this important event for the third year. 

In 2017 I read 357 children's books as the chair of the panels for the Cybils Fiction Picture Books and Board Books Awards. The Cybils Awards, the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards, honor children's books with both deep literary quality and huge kid appeal, with a strong focus on books from diverse cultures. 

One of my favorite books nominated for the 2017 Cybils Awards is A Different Pond.

A Different Pond is a powerful story.

A boy is awakened very early in the morning by his father. His father must go fishing for food for his family before he goes to his second job on a Saturday.

The boy's father tells stories of his life in Vietnam, before he came to America. 

It's a simple story of a boy and his father rising early to go fishing, but it's also the rich intersection between the American and Vietnamese cultures, between old and 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. There are small moments of sadness in the story, as the boy recalls how a child at his school describes his father's English as sounding "like a thick, dirty river," and when the boy's father tells his son about how he and his brother fought together in the war, about how one day "his brother didn't come home." But there are also small moments of joy in the story, as the father shares stories with the boy of fishing in a pond in Vietnam when he was little, as the boy proudly builds the fire himself with a single match, as the father and son catch fish and know they "will eat tonight." 

A Different Pond is a beautiful story of building connections between father and son, connections between old and new cultures. 

A Different Pond, written by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui, published in 2017 by Capstone Books.

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

2018 Author Sponsors
Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan BernardoAuthor Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne BroylesAuthor 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 QueenAuthor 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.


  1. Very nice! The book sounds wonderful, Deb! Happy Multicultural Children's Book Day!

  2. I wasn't aware of Multicultural Children's Book Day. Thank you for posting details and links. I'm sure my granddaughter would enjoy A DIFFERENT POND, as well as the other excellent books featured in this excellent program.
    Thank you, too, for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.
    Sandy @ Writing With a Texas Twang

    1. She would love Different Pond. Take a look at some of the other wonderful books too.

  3. This book has been on my to read list since it came out. I need to get my hands on a copy!

  4. This book got a lot of buzz at BEA 2017. I think I have a copy in my library or I may have given it to a little friend to read.

  5. sounds like a wonderful story between a father and a son. And perfect for multicultural day too.

  6. Wow, A Different Pond looks amazing! And such beautiful illustrations. I'm sure I'd love this one.

  7. Aww1 This books sounds so amazing, I love the illustrations! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. I love to see beautifully done children's books that make me want to touch them, smell them, and read them.

  9. This book looks wonderful - thank you for such a beautiful insight into the sensitively told story:)

  10. Lovely books, especially A Different Pond, definitely a reminder of the powerful connections between cultures.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  11. thank you for this lovely share.. i just read about another book by Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do) and have it on my TBR.. Thanks for making me aware of Multicultural day

  12. Oooh! I love reading Multicultural children's books! Hope you enjoy all your books!

    Here’s my Sunday Post!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  13. A Different Pond sounds like a lovely book. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  14. This sounds like a terrific event and terrific book too!

  15. This is such a great blog post. I'm also looking to add new books to my children's book collection. This sounds like a great book!

  16. A Different Pond sounds amazing. I’ll have to look for it. Thanks for sharing!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  17. I absolutely LOVED a different pond! UGH I'm SO MAD at myself for missing this event! Thank you for reminding me but I'm behind on reading my comments and I miss it!

  18. What a lovely post and what a lovely story. It reminds me of the graphic novel you gave me called The Best we Could Do or We Did the Best We Could about Vietnam and immigrants who came to America during the Vietnam War. It was a kind of history/memoir of the author herself, written and drawn by her. I really enjoyed it and believe I reviewed it to share how much I liked it on PWR.


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