cover image My First Day

My First Day

Phùng Nguyên Quang and Huy'nh Kim Liên. Make Me a World, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-30626-0

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 Liên 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 Liên 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. [em](Feb.) [/em]