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“Each panel is so detailed that readers will want to linger over them all, admiring Lam’s craft even while being immersed in emotions. A tender tribute to the author’s parents and to all refugees who survive and thrive despite enormous odds.”
Booklist, Starred Review

Four Starred Reviews

The Paper Boat: A Refugee Story

Written by Thao Lam
Published by Owlkids

New from Thao Lam, comes a personal story inspired by her family’s refugee journey. In The Paper Boat, Thao’s signature collage art tells the wordless story of one family’s escape from Vietnam–a journey intertwined with an ant colony’s parallel narrative. At her home in Vietnam, a girl rescues ants from the sugar water set out to trap them. Later, when the girl’s family flees war-torn Vietnam, ants lead them through the moonlit jungle to the boat that will take them to safety. Before boarding, the girl folds a paper boat from a bun wrapper and drops it into the water, and the ants climb on. Their perilous journey, besieged by punishing weather, predatory birds, and dehydration, before reaching a new beginning, mirrors the family’s own. Impressionistic collages and a moving, Own Voices/Lived Experience narrative make this a one-of-a-kind tale of courage, resilience, and hope.

Primary ISBN: 9781771473637

Available As: Hardcover
Picture Book, Age 06 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: ,

Setting: Vietnam

Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: Refugee

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

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