Review Corner

Reviews for Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories

by Tran Thi Minh Phuoc

Illustrated by Nguyen Thi Hop & Nguyen Dong

ISBN: 9780804844291 • $16.95 • Hardcover • April 2015

 “’Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories’ is a great example of what I often refer to as a parent’s ‘snuggle book.’ This book with its magical stories provides the perfect invitation for parents to snuggle with their child to read and let their imaginations soar as they enter into a land and culture of untold Vietnamese generations. The beautiful illustrations by veteran artists Thi Hop Nguyen and Dong Nguyen perfectly capture the charm and flavor of traditional Vietnamese culture. This book is a treat for the eyes and the imagination and is sure to become a family favorite for many years to come.” —Adoption Today Magazine

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“If you enjoy folktales and fables, then Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories is worthy of being in your personal library. The stories are short and the beautiful illustrations will have young readers asking you to “read this one.” The stories are soothing enough for bedtime.” —The Family Bookshelf (The Reading Tub)

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Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories is full of myths and fairy tales from Vietnam. The stories aren’t just well written, the artwork is beautiful. The stories are truly a delight to read!” —ClassicallyHomeschooling.com blog

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“This book offers some of the most beloved folktales of Vietnam with relatable characters and colorful artwork.” —Skipping Stones magazine

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“A lovely collection of fifteen beautifully illustrated Vietnamese folk tales, retold for Western children. Why not read one a night at bedtime to your kids? It works for all ages, even adults!” —Pragmatic Mom 

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“…the combination of their brilliant watercolor illustrations and Tran’s storytelling has made Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories a treasure trove for children of all ages and backgrounds!” —San Diego Book Review

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“ The delicate and detailed watercolor illustrations elegantly enhance the appeal of this work. VERDICT A valuable and culturally authentic addition to folktale collections.” —School Library Journal

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“…wonderful addition to any circle time.” —Creative Steps

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“This was a cool collection of stories. I love how the stories helped explain Vietnamese traditions and culture. I learned about the Vietnamese new year celebration, and why a certain flower is popular, and why they don’t sweep their houses during the celebrations. These are great stories for bedtime, and are wonderful for a multicultural unit. There is even a story similar to our Cinderella. The illustrations are gorgeous. They catch the feel of the story perfectly, and they really bring the tales to life.” —This Kid Reviews Books

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“This anthology has many stories for you and your child to enjoy. The story of Tam and Cam is the Vietnamese version of Cinderella. We personally have fallen in love with The Legend of Banh Chung and Banh Day, which has a beautiful ending and a moral that all children should learn at a young age. Allow your children to learn and enjoy these stories and learn the wonderful morals and values that Vietnamese children have been enriched with for so many years. Illustrators Nguyen Thi Hop and Nguyen Dong beautifully draw exciting and colourful pictures to accompany each story. If you have toddlers, do not be surprised if they start to point out every animal on the page! The pictures truly speak to children.” —The Baby Spot

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“All the stories lead the reader to learn a bit more about life in Vietnam. And each story has beautiful illustrations. […] They are a wonderful way to explore Vietnam without traveling there.” —Crafty Moms Share

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“These short stories, retold by Tran Thi Minh Phuoc, are ones passed down through the generations that she shared with her own children. Artists Nguyen Thi Hop and Nguyen Dong provided the many stunning watercolor illustrations. This is a good book to share with children, teens and adults. […] Throughout the book, both the words and the pictures paint an intriguing picture that will engage young readers’ interest. […] Children who are not from Vietnam will be intrigued by the way the artists depict water and foods, clothing and scenery that is unfamiliar to them while children from families that come from Vietnam will enjoy seeing their heritage reflected in both the artwork and the stories.” —About.com (Children’s Books)

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“The best way for a child to grasp the world around them and understand their place is with stories and illustrations. Even young children can recognize a fairy tale as a story told over and over that those around them are as familiar with as they are. Many times these stories are fantasies and sometimes real. Sometimes, they take common traditions and create stories that we can learn and model from. For exposing my son to other cultures, I love children’s books that share tales from other countries that may be familiar to those children. For him to just see illustrations of a countries towns and people help him connect to that culture. […] I now have the chance to start a new cultural lesson with the new release, Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories.” —Parenting Healthy

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“…a graceful balance between text and pictures.” —Publishers Weekly

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“This story collection provides an opportunity for children of Vietnamese origin to find out more about the beauty and depth of the culture of Vietnam, through stories full of self nation, and is an opportunity for families of Vietnamese origin and transmission of conservation treasure tales Vietnam for the next generation.” —Nguoi Viet Daily News (translated from Vietnamese)

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“…a rainbow sampling of a rich culture’s traditions for children, appealing to children of imagination everywhere.”  —Midwest Book Review

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“Attractive watercolor illustrations by two Vietnamese artists are scattered throughout, and the appealing cover should invite readers. A welcome addition to any collection of folk tales.” —Kirkus

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“Phuoc Tran’s stories remind us of the depth and beauty of Vietnamese culture. The folktales help heal us all from the tragic history of the Vietnam War and bring the deep enduring cultural traditions back into the light to be shared by all.” —David Zander, Cultural Anthropologist, Co-Founder of Asian Storytellers Alliance

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“This well researched and lovingly written book is destined to be a children’s classic.” —Wendy Woodfill, Senior Librarian at Hennepin County Library, MN; Chair of the 2014 ALSC Notable Children’s Books Committee

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“These folktales by Tran not only convey many lessons to help the youth appreciate nature, respect others and become better individuals, but also lingers in readers’ minds long after you finish reading the book.” —Duc-Huy Tran Nguyen, Visiting Scholar at Boston University

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“Ms. Phuoc Thi-Minh Tran has organized and taught hundreds of children and families with meaningful and outstanding programs that include storytelling, arts and crafts, music, food, traditions and holidays of Vietnam.  Her personal connection to Vietnam along with her professional expertise provides great depth such wonderful stories.” —Caroline Nguyen Ticarro-Parker, Founder & Executive Director, Catalyst Foundation

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“These ancient and traditional Vietnamese stories are a compilation of both folklore and fairy tale in one volume.  The folklore about animals explains the history of the natural world in Vietnam.  The fairy tales depict humans striving against poverty and injustice with the help of magic and the aid of gods and goddesses.  Children, and the adults who read these stories to them, will love the pacing and tone of Tran Thi Minh Phuoc’s narrative and the beautiful watercolor palette of the book’s illustrations.  Images seem to float from page to page.  This work should have a home in every public library, and will become a cherished gift at Tet, the Vietnamese New Year.” —Maureen Millea Smith, librarian and Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist of When Charlotte Comes Home

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