Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends! Last June, we revealed the cover of a beautiful picture book that was going to be launching in April of this year. Then, a few months ago, we were honored to have author Hanh Bui and illustrator Minnie Phan as guests for Will Write and Illustrate for Cookies. And today, I’m thrilled to feature The Yellow Áo Dài. Why am I so excited about this book? I’m so excited because this is exactly the type of book we need in schools and libraries to serve as a mirror and a window Perfect for young children to feel seen, to celebrate Vietnamese culture, and…to provide a sweet SEL story that examines a myriad of emotions on the part of the main character. And we also have a giveaway – Hanh is offering a copy of the book! Please make sure you leave a comment (maybe you can tell us what color your Áo Dài would be if you had one) – and please share the post to spread the word about this beautiful book!
Written by Hanh Bui
Illustrated by Minnie Phan
Published by Feiwell & Friends/Macmillan (April 25, 2023)
Themes: SEL, Vietnamese culture, courage
Synopsis: From Amazon:
Lovingly illustrated by Minnie Phan, Hanh Bui’s debut picture book, The Yellow Áo Dài, is a warm story of family, identity, and remembering those who came before.
Naliah is excited to perform a traditional Vietnamese Fan Dance at her school’s International Day. When she finds that her special áo dài no longer fits right, she goes to her mom’s closet to find another.
She puts on a pretty yellow one―only to accidentally rip it while practicing her dance. She’s horrified to discover that this was a very special áo dài that her grandmother had worn to dance at the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam.
But with a little help from her mom’s sewing kit and her grandmother’s loving legacy, Naliah learns not only how to mend the yellow áo dài but also how to believe in herself and make it her own.
Why I Love This Book:
1. I love that this is a story that every young child can relate to: being happy, yet anxious, about performing in a school event; feeling guilty about messing up something that belongs to a parent; experiencing relief when mom isn’t angry over what you’ve done.
2. I love that this is a story based on the author’s family experiences – and Hanh’s backmatter explains the background and includes pictures of her mother-in-law who was the Mid-Autumn Festival Princess years before in Vietnam.
3. I love the glorious illustrations and the captivating palette of colors that Minnie used.
How about crafting some beautiful paper lanterns for the Mid-Autumn Festival? If you create a slightly smaller one (in yellow), you can insert it into the larger one and it will look like it is glowing. Find detailed instructions here: https://www.auntannie.com/PartyDecorations/ChineseLantern/
And here is a beautiful paper doll activity created by illustrator Minnie Phan:
The book launched just a few days ago…and is available in local bookstores everywhere, as well as Amazon and B&N. And here is the link to Hanh’s local bookstore where you can get copies signed by her. The Yellow Áo Dài (Hardcover) | Scrawl Books
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Please make sure you leave a comment and share widely on social media for a chance to WIN a copy of the book!
Hanh & Minnie: WHAT a SWEET story to share with the world! The BRIGHT yellow of the Áo Dài on the cover is SO VIBRANT! I can see why it would have been hard for Naliah not to give into the temptation to wear it. I LOVE that this is a generational family story, and ESPECIALLY that it’s based on Hanh’s own family. THANK YOU for sharing it with us!
I SO love this book! Thanks or the activity ideas and for the chance to win a copy. 💝
I’m excited for the release of your beautiful book, Hanh! My copy should be coming in the mail any day now. Congratulations on sharing your family’s story with the world!
I love the family history embedded in this story. I used to LOVE going into my mother’s closet as a child and playing dress up. And I think I would want mine to be green—my very favorite color ❤️
Such a special story, full of heart and family and tradition. Congrats, Hanh and Minnie.
Beautiful book with universal appeal! Looks like a good read aloud.
Looking forward to adding this book to my collection! What a touching story! 🙂
This sounds like such a tender story. I’ve added it to my TBR list. Thank you for sharing, Vivian! And congrats to Hanh Bui and Minnie Phan for making this beautiful book!
This story sounds so heartwarming, and I love the gorgeous cover! Thanks for sharing, and Congrats Hanh and Minnie!
My mom’s a special Ed teacher & I’m always on the look out for books with a broader range of experiences than are necessarily available in Ohio public school libraries, I’m putting this on her list! Also might get it for my 6 year old brother, he has Big Feelings & could probably really benefit from a book where something broken gets fixed because the protagonist asked for help. Might cut down the crying jag with the heads pop off his Barbie’s.
Thank you for profiling this book- I can’t wait to read it- and the illustrations look gorgeous!
I would definitely choose yellow!
Thanks so much,
I’ve wanted to read this gorgeous and heartwarming book since I first saw it. Thank you for the chance to win a copy. I shared on Twitter.
Congratulations, Hanh and Minnie! A perfect picture book, indeed!
This looks beautiful!! Congratulations!! Thank you for sharing the heartwarming story!
Oh wow. I MUST have this book. I’ll be making sure my local library orders it, too.
Such a lovely way to know more about Vietnamese culture!
Sounds like a lovely book!