MaiStoryBook Library: A Different Pond + *Fishing for Memories* Craft

Introducing a story of family, memories and home, featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“A Different Pond” by Bao Phi and Thi Bui

*~Click here to purchase your own copy of *A Different Pond* to start on your own reading adventure! (This is an affiliate link~ 5% of your purchase will go to MaiStoryBook to help create Reading Resources for your littles)~*

Book Synopsis and Review

In a story of memories, family, and home, a young boy and his father, an immigrant from Vietnam, awaken in the early hours of the day~ while the skies are still dark and the sun is still sleeping. Tip-toeing softly and packing quietly so as not to wake up Mama, son and father prepare their fishing poles and equipment for a trip to the pond~ hoping to catch fish for tonight’s dinner. While fishing, the young boy imagines what life must have been like at the other pond where his father used to live~ in Vietnam. Through this simple act of fishing~ the boy is connected to a history, a country, and a home he’s never seen or been to before. Through shared memories, father and son grow a strong bond, creating a relationship between cultures old and new.

This book is beautifully illustrated by Thi Bui. The coordinated color palette and striking images combine with Bao Phi’s rhythmic and honest prose to create a powerful story of tradition, family, and home. A beautiful book that offers a glimpse into the lives of immigrant families, the story takes a mundane fishing activity~ and with expertly crafted details and imagery, turns this small outing into a meaningful and hopeful cherished memory.

Vocabulary List

  • Tackle box (p. 2) box to keep fishing tools such as hooks
  • Bait (p. 5) food used to capture fish
  • Scrub (p. 8) to rub hard to clean something
  • Callouses (p. 8) a hard part of your skin; usually made hard because of rubbing or it’s where a blister used to be
  • Nub (p. 19) a small lump or piece

Themes/Main ideas

  • Family Tradition: Learning with your elders makes traditions special and meaningful. Discuss your own family traditions
  • Memories of Home: Cherish the memories of your homeland or learn about where your ancestors came from. Your history and your understanding of the lives of your family loved ones is an important part of who you are.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “A Different Pond” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

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Fishing for Memories Craft

Family traditions and special outings are the memories that will last a lifetime.  The special conversations that arise from the close bonding experiences will stay in the hearts of family forever. In a second grade placement I student taught for, I implemented a storytelling unit. The students each learned a folk tale from different countries around the world. We also spent some time talking about oral tradition and passing on stories and histories by word of mouth. Sharing your own memories and childhood with little ones is a form of storytelling. With more time, I can imagine how much more meaningful it could’ve been for students to research a folk tale from their own cultural background, or learn a story from their parents childhood. For them to be a able to learn that story, and then make it their own and a part of themselves by learning to tell it and share it with others, would be powerful experience~ connecting them to their own history. In this week’s craft inspired by our story, little ones get a chance *fish for memories* and practice sharing their own stories and feelings of home and family. Prepare for an afternoon of sweet reminiscing!


  • 3 different color sheets of contraction paper
  • 1 stick
  • piece of string about 1 ft. long
  • 1 paper clip
  • 3 twist ties (like the ones from the grocery store for veggie/fruit bags)
  • Scissors
  • Markers


  • Stack the 3 pieces of paper on top of each other and draw a fish shape on the top piece.
  • Cut out the fish shape while the paper is stacked. You should have 3 fish.

  • On one side of the fish, write the following sentence frames, “My favorite family memory is_______” “I love my home because______” “I remember_____”
  • Cut or poke a whole at the the end of the fish near the tip of its nose.
  • Twist the twist ties onto each fish and make and fasten a circle loop (this way they can be *hooked* by the fishing pole.

  • For the fishing pole: take your stick and tie the string to one end.
  • To the other end of the string, tie on the paper clip. Bend one side of the paper clip out so that it can hook onto a twist tie loop and *catch* a fish!
  • When you catch a fish, you have to fill in the sentence frame on the fish. Take turns catching fish!

Enjoy Your *Fishing for Memories* Craft

  • Play *Fishing for Memories* with a family member and take turns sharing memories and stories. Learn more about your family members and their histories
  • Play with a friend and learn about their home and memories
  • Use the fishing pole and fish as *reading buddies* while you reread the story and fish along with he young boy and his dad
  • Use the fishing pole and fish to help you retell the story to a family member or friend.

*~Overall, have fun creating and engaging with your own *Fishing for Memories* Craft,  and I hope you and your little ones share meaningful memories!  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Fishing for Memories* Crafts and Creations, and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

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