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Local Children’s Book Author, Bao Phi, is one of those amazing hidden treasures of the Twin Cities. His picture book about going fishing in the Twin Cities, A Different Pond, is a Caldecott winner. This beautiful book is one of those picture books that is worth adding to your keep shelf. He was born in Vietnam but grew up in the Phillips neighborhood here in Minneapolis.

Books by Bao Phi -
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Picture Books by Bao Phi

A Different Pond:

Bao Phi’s first picture book, A Different Pond, won a Caldecott award.

His latest picture books are Hello, Mandarin Duck and My Footprints.

Hello, Mandarin Duck!:

Twins Hue and Hoa are excited for the May Day parade! While waiting at the park for the parade to begin, they spot a little duck who seems new to the neighborhood–and looks confused by the crowd and commotion. How can the twins help the duck get to the pond? Many friends from the neighborhood stop to say hello and offer suggestions. Teamwork, collective brainstorming, and the duck’s own inspiration finally help it reach its new home–with an entire community welcoming it with a parade! A celebration of a vibrant, multicultural neighborhood that warmly welcomes newcomers from near and far, this story also encourages communal problem-solving and offers a gentle reminder of the deportation fears many children and families face.

My Footprints:

Every child feels different in some way, but Thuy feels “double different.” She is Vietnamese American and she has two moms. Thuy walks home one winter afternoon, angry and lonely after a bully’s taunts. Then a bird catches her attention and sets Thuy on an imaginary exploration. What if she could fly away like a bird? What if she could sprint like a deer, or roar like a bear? Mimicking the footprints of each creature in the snow, she makes her way home to the arms of her moms. Together, the three of them imagine beautiful and powerful creatures who always have courage – just like Thuy.

Bao Phi is also an accomplished poets. You can read one of my favorite poems by him, Sirenum Scopuli – at the Poetry Foundation, and have included his poetry books in our shop.

Bao Phi Story Time

Below is a cute video story time featuring A Different Pond that I found on YouTube.

This article includes an affiliate link to, an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission on books ordered through our link. If you want to find a specific local bookstore to support, find them on this map and they’ll receive the full profit off your order. Otherwise, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookstores (even those that don’t use Bookshop). Learn more here.

0 thoughts on “Bao Phi”

  1. I am one of the lucky ones that has a first printing of A Different Pond. It is truly one f the most stunning books I’ve ever seen! Could you please send me an autographed book plate?? I would be so grateful. If ok with you I could send a stamped self addressed envelope. Thank you very much for your consideration of my request, Cheryl Deaton

    1. Cheryl, that is so Awesome that you have a first printing of A Different Pond. Unfortunately, we are not associated with Bao Phi. Like you, we are just fans. However, if you follow the link at the top of this page, it will lead you to his website or try emailing Good Luck! We would love to hear if you are able to get an autograph.

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