|The true story of Tuan Ho, |
told by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and Brian Deines
A Vietnamese Boy's Story of Survival
Written Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and Tuan Ho
Illustrated by Brian Deines, bio
Pajama Press, 2017
Ages 6-9, 40 pp
Immigrants, Cultural Diversity, Vietnam
When I come home from school today, a jug of water and bags of dried food sit by the door.
Ma gathers me in her arms. "Are you leaving me now too?" I ask.
The Ho family live in Vietnam in the 1980's. This is the story of how Tuan and his sisters made a daring escape from that country, were lost at sea, and survived. The book includes photographs and details to inform the reader about Tuan Ho's family members, making the journey very personal. The author's note gives facts about the Vietnam War and the subsequent struggles of refugees.
What I Love:
This book is a beautifully written account of a harsh emigration from a young boy's perspective. The author includes sensory details to heighten the experience. The fine art paintings are beautiful, evoking a strong sense of realism.
I did think the book needed a bit more context for young readers. The enormous cast introduced in the first few pages was also a bit confusing. The solid back matter could be used by adults to provide a framework and summary before reading the story to children. There were places where I wished the art was more illustrative. I think the artist could have used some spreads to heighten the tension, reinforcing what was unsaid in the text. Yet the art was breathtaking, definitely creating a sense of mood on every spread.
Overall, this book is a much needed and honest picture of something many immigrants experience. Despite its shortcomings, I recommend Adrift at Sea for use in homes and classrooms.
|Culture map from Kids Press Magazine|
2. Duolingo is my favorite app for learning languages. Try a few minutes of Vietnamese for free, and you'll be hooked.
3. Fluent in Three Months adds language games to get your kids moving and articulate.
4. Print and color Vietnamese paper dolls from education.com.
5. In case you missed the other CYBILS Award finalist reviews, I've included the links below:
Hatching Chicks in Room 6
Once Upon A Jungle
What Makes A Monster?
6. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.
|A Different Pond, family life |
of Vietnamese immigrants
|Vietnamese Children's Favorite Stories, |
|The Little Refugee,|
|Maya Lin, Vietnamese architect|
|When Jesse Came Across the Sea, |
Jewish immigrant story
|The Wall, German escape story|
|Light in the Darkness,|
African Escape story
|The Name Jar,|
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, May 11, 2018 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.
*As a CYBILS second round judge, I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.