The pond has become like a second home to the boy. He has made many friends who also come to fish in the early morning. As the boy and his father fish, he learns about his homeland of Vietnam.
I found this to be a touching story with a focus on family. I love that the story is told from the little boy's point of view. Also, I like the fact that the boy remains nameless. This could be the story of any young boy whose family has moved to the United States from Vietnam.
Additionally, I love how descriptive and beautiful Phi's text is. With such lines as "...my dad's English sounds like a thick, dirty river" to "...to me his English sounds like gentle rain." I really get an in depth sense of the father's character. His description of minnows as "...silver arrows" in another stunning line. Children will definitely be drawn to the exquisite language of the story.
Thi Bui's illustrations are wonderful. Most of the story takes place during very early morning while it is still dark outside. The illustrations are saturated in deep, dark colors without being overly done or completely pitch back. I love how each illustration depicts multiple things going on at once.
Overall, this is a wonderful story about immigrants trying to create a new life for their families in the United States. Readers ages 4-8 will enjoy this book.