In this auto-biographical story, Bao Phi presents an immigrant family from Vietnam as it strives to establish a home in America. A young boy rises early to fish with his father before the work day begins. His father tells him stories of his homeland, the war and fishing in Vietnam. The silent, cheerful sacrifice of this man permeates the story. At the same time, his young son does his part to help the others.
Thi Bui’s illustrations capture the mood of the Phi’s writing. The dark sky and muted surroundings as they approach the local pond convey the crisp coolness and quiet of pre-dawn. Images of home life are full of joy in spite of the family’s obvious struggles.
Jennifer Minicus is a teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ.