Making immigrant and refugee stories visible: a conversation with children’s book author Bao Phi
Dec 15, 2021
Bao Phi’s family came to Minnesota in the 1970s as refugees from Vietnam. He experienced both racism and feeling invisible growing up in Minneapolis. Once he became a parent, he wanted things to be different for his child, which inspired him to start writing stories that weren’t available to him when he was younger. In this episode of Early Risers, host Dianne Haulcy explores how Phi’s award-winning children’s books can be wonderful tools for opening conversations with young children about the experiences of immigrant and refugee families.
Bao Phi’s books for children include:
“A Different Pond”
“A Different Pond” received six starred reviews and won multiple awards, including a Caldecott Honor and the Charlotte Zolotow Award for excellence in children’s book writing.
Phi reflects in this essay on George Floyd’s murder and the unrest that followed—and how he feels that sometimes “being Vietnamese in America is to be an argument.”
“Untitled: A Reflection from a Vietnamese American in Minneapolis,” June 2020, Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN)
Phi has also won awards for his work as a spoken-word artist and poet. Many of his poems are autobiographical.
Recommended resources for learning and talking about the experiences of immigrant & refugee children & families from the Debra S. Fish Early Childhood Resource Library at Think Small