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Owlkids Books

A Picture Book
By (author): Thao Lam
9781771474320 Hardcover , Picture book, Dust jacket English Children/juvenile: Interest age, years 4 - 8, Canadian school grade range 2 - 5, US school grade range 2 - 5 Apr 15, 2021
$19.95 CAD
Active 8.25 x 10.25 x 0.38 in | 370 gr 24 pages Full colour illustrations throughout Owlkids Books Owlkids
JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional
A Junior Library Guild selection 2021, Commended
An honest #OwnVoices story about growing up with a name that is unfamiliar to the kids around you, told with humor and heart by critically acclaimed author/illustrator Thao Lam

Even though it’s only four simple, familiar letters long, nobody can ever pronounce Thao’s name. She’s been called Theo, Tail, even Towel! But the teasing names—Tofu, Tiny, China Girl—are worse. Maybe it’s time to be someone else? Thao decides to try on a different name, something easy, like Jennifer.

It works, but only until she opens her lunchbox to find her mother’s Vietnamese spring rolls, g?i cu?n—Thao’s favorite! Now, it feels a lot more comfortable to be herself.

Simple on the surface, this story inspired by Thao’s own childhood is full of humor, heart, and important ideas of diversity, inclusion, and cultural pride. The story will be instantly relatable to readers who have ever felt different.

Designed with a playful emphasis on typography, and Thao’s own childhood photos added to her signature cut-paper collage, THAO champions being true to yourself and your background, and being empathetic towards others. It is a celebration of all that’s in a name and the power of owning your identity.

  • New from the author/illustrator of The Paper Boat and My Cat Looks Like My Dad, a Booklist Editors’ Choice; and Wallpaper and Skunk on a String, both named Kirkus Best Picture Books
  • An Own Voices story inspired by the author’s own childhood challenges of having an unfamiliar name
  • Introduces topics of diversity, inclusion, respect, and empathy

THAO LAM is the critically acclaimed author/illustrator of THAO, Wallpaper, My Cat Looks Like My Dad, Skunk on a String, and The Paper Boat, named a best book of 2020 by Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal, the Globe and Mail, CBC, and others . 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.

"Anyone in an unfamiliar environment will be able to relate... This work’s clever construction and stark simplicity embody a kaleidoscope of 'mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors.'" - Kirkus Reviews

"Collage illustrations combine a paper cast with trimmed snapshots of Thao herself, a visual strategy that grounds the story in an all-too-real past and underscores her unassailable pride in identity. This is a genial but pointed primary-grade reminder that names matter, and names deserve respect." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Lam depicts young Thao’s predicament using visual precision and detail in her text and illustrations, delivering her message without fuss or complication and with a touch of humor." - Booklist

"Exquisite ... A story that will resonate with children who find fitting in a challenge."

- The Globe and Mail

"Rendered in Thao Lam’s playful cut paper collage, this humorous and resonant story is for anyone who’s ever felt out of place. It’s also a celebration of each of our names, our identities, and our diversity." - Avery & Augustine

"A terrifically complex picture book that packs depth as well as moments of levity within the limits of its format. Its sincerely empathetic perspective offers encouragement to readers with similar life experiences, while all readers (children and parents alike) may be inspired by THAO to reflect on how their own actions can better support and celebrate cultural diversity."

- Quill & Quire

Also Available

The Paper Boat Thao Lam 9781771473637 $19.95 CAD Sep 15, 2020
My Cat Looks Like My Dad Thao Lam 9781771473514 $19.95 CAD Apr 15, 2019
Wallpaper Thao Lam 9781771472838 $19.95 CAD Apr 15, 2018
Skunk on a String Thao Lam 9781771471312 $19.95 CAD Mar 15, 2016

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