The Paper Boat
A Refugee Story
Named a best picture book of 2020 by Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, New York Public Library, the Globe and Mail, CBC, and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books -- a heartfelt and personal immigration story by critically acclaimed author Thao Lam
New from Thao Lam, the award-winning author of picture books My Cat Looks Like My Dad, Wallpaper, and Skunk on a String, 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 narrative make this a one-of-a-kind tale of courage, resilience, and hope.
About this Author
THAO LAM is the critically acclaimed author/illustrator of Wallpaper, My Cat Looks Like My Dad, and Skunk on a String. She studied illustration at Sheridan College and has an insatiable love of colored and textured papers, which she uses to create her exuberant collages. She draws inspiration from the stories she hears, from the beauty in everyday things, and from the work of the many illustrators she admires. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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