A visually stunning story of resilience and determination by an award-winning new author-illustrator team.
This is no ordinary first journey. The rainy season has come to the Mekong Delta, and An, a young Vietnamese boy, sets out alone in a wooden boat wearing a little backpack and armed only with a single oar. On the way, he is confronted by giant crested waves, heavy rainfall and eerie forests where fear takes hold of him. Although daunted by the dark unknown, An realizes that he is not alone and continues to paddle. He knows it will all be worth it when he reaches his destination--one familiar to children all over the world.
A Vietnamese boy's journey starts when he steps from his house into a wooden boat. Equipped with a knapsack and a long pole, he sets out across the Mekong River Delta during flood season, when boats are the only possible transportation. "This is the first time I've made this trip on my own," he confides. Polished, animation-style spreads by Quang and Li n dazzle as the boy surmounts huge waves, bails his boat out with a large leaf, and poles his way through a dark, forbidding mangrove forest: "The jungle calls your name, asks you to be brave." The huge python readers see swimming underneath the boy's boat might be real, or not. Flocks of birds fly across sunrise clouds above him; fish school beneath the boat. At last he spies the shore. Quang and Li n celebrate the beauty and wealth of the Mekong River, whose floods lead to a gentle transformation of riverside life from a land-based to a water-based existence for a significant portion of the year. Back matter supplies more information about the delta and its characteristics. Ages 4 8. \n