The Most Beautiful Thing
by Kao Kalia Yang
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Pub Date 06 Oct 2020 | Archive Date 16 Oct 2020
Lerner Publishing Group, Carolrhoda Books ®
A warmhearted and tender true story about a young girl finding beauty where she never thought to look.
Drawn from author Kao Kalia Yang's childhood experiences as a Hmong refugee, this moving picture book portrays a family with a great deal of love and little money. Weaving together Kalia's story with that of her beloved grandmother, the book moves from the jungles of Laos to the family's early years in the United States. When Kalia becomes unhappy about having to do without and decides she wants braces to improve her smile, it is her grandmother—a woman who has just one tooth in her mouth—who helps her see that true beauty is found with those we love most. Stunning illustrations from Vietnamese illustrator Khoa Le bring this intergenerational tale to life.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 149 members
You could remove all of the text or all of the illustrations from this book and it would still be beautiful. As it is, it's stunning. It follows a family soon after their arrival in America from Laos and is inspired by the author's own experiences as a Hmong refugee.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
A gorgeously illustrated and told story of the value of gratitude and love in this chaotic world. A must use for kindergarten instructors.
I was immediately drawn in by the stunning illustrations, and the story quickly hooked me nearly as quickly. A stunning, incredibly moving book. Will purchase for my library.
Wonderful message. Beautiful art. This is a fantastic book to share with students. Sometimes we forget that even though we might think something different about the people around us than ourselves, our internalized messages about ourselves might be different.
I was stunned by the beauty of this book. It is colourful, bright and boldly illustrated and though the story is tinged with sadness, it is overall a celebration of life, appreciating your family and wealth in non monetary forms.
Kalia's family live simply with little food and no money for extravagances but there is a lot of love. Grandma is precious and the grandchildren feel honoured to care for her, whether it is helping her bathe, taking care of her nails, it is all done with love.
Grandma is a Hmong, who grew up taking care of her siblings, knowing intense hunger "We lived always with hunger eating us on the inside". With her one tooth, Grandma was always happy to eat anything shared with her.
Kalia, as she grows older, begins to want more things. She has grown tired of being hungry for food, clothing and treats. It comes to Grandma, old and wise, to teach Kalia about the beauty of her life.
Completely stunning in story and art- this is "The Most Beautiful Thing"
This book has beautiful illustrations and shares an important message. For children that identify with the story, it validates who they are. For children that don't share the experience portrayed in the story, it gives them a window into the world of someone different than them and creates an open door for valuable discussion. Thank you for Lerner Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
It is difficult to pick what is "the most beautiful thing" about this picture book! The story of the bond between granddaughter and grandmother is portrayed beautifully and authentically in this #ownvoices telling. The illustrations are GORGEOUS and the movement used within the images reflects both the movement of refugees, time, and growth as the main character learns and grows. Simple details like eating ice cubes instead of ice cream portray the reality of growing up poor while the sharing of peppermint candies remind readers of the joy in the little things. The message of love amidst strife and perseverance in the face of adversity go beyond this story and reminds readers of their own families and histories that they should not take for granted. A beautiful story that should be added to every library's collection!