WISHES, by Muon Thi Van and Victo Ngai, Orchard Books; Illustrated edition, May 4, 2021, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
Wishes, written by Mượn Thị Văn and illustrated by Victo Ngai, follows a family that is forced to leave its homeland in search of a better life.
If you had to leave everything behind and travel by boat across rocky waters to find safe harbor… What would you wish for?
In the middle of the night, a family quickly packs up what they can carry and leaves their entire world, traveling to a new and unknown place. The voyage is perilous, but the heart’s wishes prevail. —Synopsis provided by Orchard Books
Inspired by actual events in Mượn Thị Văn’s life, Wishes looks at secret escapes through a different lens. The author packs this emotional story into only 75 words, and yet encapsulates so much more. (Back matter includes more on Muon’s own journey from Vietnam to the United States.)
The night wished it was quieter.
The bag wished it was deeper.
The light wished it was brighter…
Victo Ngai’s powerful illustrations are the perfect match for the lyrical text. The bold use of color, texture and perspective are as beautiful as they are haunting.
Wishes is a quiet, contemplative book that young — and old — readers will want to read again and again.
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