Book details

Macmillan Children's Book

Ánh's New Word

A Story About Learning a New Language

Author: Hanh Bui; illustrated by Bao Luu

Ánh's New Word

Ánh's New Word

About This Book

A child living in a Vietnamese refugee camp learns their first word in English with a little help from their teacher and grandmother in this heart-warming picture book based on the author's childhood.
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Book Details

A child living in a Vietnamese refugee camp learns their first word in English with a little help from their teacher and grandmother in this heart-warming picture book based on the author's childhood.

Many things are different for Ánh now that they've left Vietnam with their family. The weather is colder and they live in a communal barracks at a refugee camp while they wait for their new life in America to start. Ánh finds comfort in their warm-hearted teacher, Miss Mary Ellen, but has trouble with the foreign sounds of learning to speak English in class.

All Ánh wants is to be able to say "thank you" out loud to Miss Mary Ellen, but will the words ever stop getting stuck between their head and their voice? With a little inspiration from their grandmother—as well as the chance discovery of an adorable animal—Ánh will try to gather the courage to finally say their first word in a new language.

Exquisitely illustrated by Bao Luu, Ánh's New Word by Hanh Bui is a hopeful story of finding your voice, inspired by true events from the author's childhood.

Imprint Publisher

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In The News

Praise for Ánh's New Word:

"A gorgeous and heartfelt book about family, new beginnings and the power of finding just the right word." —Pat Zietlow Miller, New York Times-bestselling author of Be Kind

"A beautifully written, sweetly illustrated story about the challenge of living in a new country, the connection between student and teacher, and how the language of compassion and hope is universal." —Rajani LaRocca, Newbery Honor-winning author of Red, White, and Whole

"An uplifting and inspiring story based on the author's life, Ánh's New Word reminds us how one person's kindness can be the key to unlocking another's courage." —Christina Soontornvat, three-time Newbery Honoree

"A beautiful, compassionate story based on the author's own childhood experiences as a refugee learning English, Ánh’s New Word shows how kind and caring adults can help a child find their voice. I highly recommend it!" —Trudy Ludwig, author of The Invisible Boy and Brave Every Day

"This poignant tale is accompanied by charming cartoon artwork with simple textured backdrops, the warm palette adding to the emotional tone. ... A touching account of courage and kindness." —Kirkus Reviews

"Based on a true event from the author’s childhood, this gentle refugee story would be useful for discussion with young children about any new experiences." —Booklist

Praise for The Yellow Áo Dài:

"This simple, lyrical, touching story took me to a place that I did not know but to emotions that belong to us all. I will not forget it and its lesson of confession, forgiveness, and love." —Jane Yolen, award-winning author of Owl Moon and over 400 other books for children

"A truly heartwarming story of mother and daughter, generations and traditions, and ultimately forgiveness and unconditional love that will make you want to share this wonderful book with someone you love. " —Mary Rand Hess, New York Times-bestselling author

"Heartwarming ... Lovely illustrations, using subtle colors and graceful lines to define the characters and express Naliah’s shifting emotions, concluding with joy and contentment. A picture book celebrating immigrants and their families’ cultures." —Booklist

"Vietnamese ­culture is beautifully honored through Phan’s expressive, cheerful ­watercolors. ­... Naliah’s story teaches readers about the importance of family and culture in forming identity. ... Would pair especially well with Eva Chen’s I Am Golden, Joanna Ho’s Eyes that Kiss in the Corners and ­Nabela Noor’s Beautifully Me." —School Library Journal

"Bui weaves a tender tale of a family honoring memories and heirlooms but also creating new traditions. Phan’s buoyant and beautiful illustrations convey the protagonist’s emotions. ... A charming contemporary celebration of family and heritage." —Kirkus Reviews

"An accident turns into a glimpse at family history in this reassuring picture book ... Phan’s digital illustrations twine the protagonists’ arc with images of flora and fauna that befit the story’s inventive conclusion, and Naliah’s emotions are playfully mirrored by a small rabbit sidekick, gentling moments of tension." —Publishers Weekly

About the Creators

Ánh's New Word

Ánh's New Word