A Different Pond


A Different Pond
Written by Bao Phi, Illustrated by Thi Bui

Publisher’s Summary:
As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam.

Primary Source Pairing:
After reading the book, share or summarize the Author and Illustrator Notes at the back of the book with students. Both Bao Phi and Thi Bui talk about their childhoods and the connections to their youth in this book. Invite students to share a connection they may have to this story or the author or illustrator experiences.

For this primary source pairing, create the opportunity for students to compare and contrast the story in the book to an image of two people fishing in Halong Bay, Vietnam. Using textual and visual evidence, challenge students to make connections to the story and notice the differences between what is in the book and what is in the photograph.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Think about the book, and take a close look at this photograph. What do you notice that is the same? What do you notice that is different?
  • Make a connection between what happened in the book and what you see in the photograph.
  • What was in the book that is not shown in the photograph?
  • What is in the photograph that was not in the story A Different Pond?
  • Why do you think the book is titled A Different Pond?
  • When looking at the Vietnam photograph, what small details do you see?
  • What is happening in the photograph?
  • What questions do you have when you study the photograph?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Halong Bay, Vietnam Photograph: Photographer vietnamtour2008, Wikimedia link
Link to Vietnam Map: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Location0fVietnam.svg