Finding Papa

by Angela Pham Krans

On Sale: 02/07/2023

Finding Papa

by Angela Pham Krans

illustrated by Thi Bui

On Sale: 02/07/2023


Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies (NCSS/CBC)

Bank Street Children’s Best Books of the Year

Chicago Public Library Best of the Best

Junior Library Guild Selection

Asian/Pacific American Award for Youth Literature Honor

About the Book

Finding Papa has been named the 2024 Asian/Pacific American Award Picture Honor Book by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association!

This poignant and lyrical debut picture book based on the author’s own experience and illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Thi Bui follows young Mai and her mother’s perilous journey from Vietnam to America to find Papa—who left ahead of them to start a better life for their family. 

No one can make Mai laugh like her Papa! She loves playing their favorite game—the crocodile chomp chomp! But then Papa leaves Vietnam in search of a new home for their family in America and Mai misses him very much.

Until one day Mama and Mai pack a small bag and say goodbye to the only home Mai has ever known. And so begins Mai and Mama’s long, perilous journey by foot and by boat, through dangers and darkness, to find Papa.

Finding Papa reminds us that love and courage can stretch an ocean and that nothing can keep us apart from those we care about. 



Critical Praise

Reassuring despite depicting a dangerous journey and uncertain time; there are many children for whom this is not history, but family stories. Essential.

School Library Journal (starred review)

"Krans' prose gently helps young readers understand concepts such as missing loved ones and displacement. Repeated phrasing and recurring elements (crocodiles, mango trees, goodbyes) create a lyrical, compelling narrative and read-aloud. Bui's art, with its intimate portraits of family moments, is full of tenderness and expression. An affecting story of courage and hope in hardship." — Kirkus Reviews

Stunning illustrations and gentle text tell the story of a separated family’s heartrending and hopeful journey from Vietnam to the U.S. A beautifully moving collaboration of lyrical text and striking illustrations. — Booklist (starred review)

Based on the author's real journey in 1983 from Vietnam to the U.S., the story brings another important voice to the recent influx of kid-authentic tellings of harrowing immigrant and refugee experiences such as Marwan's Where Butterflies Fill the Sky (BCCB 03/22), or Mayper's Night on the Sand (BCCB 07/22). Bui's illustrations stretch across the pages, with dappled textures and careful blending evocative of watercolor, while the compositions structure the story's pace. . . Add this to the aforementioned titles for an inclusive display on the various journeys people take to find safety and the hardships they often face. — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Drawing from personal experiences emigrating from Vietnam to America, per creators’ notes, the author-illustrator team foregrounds one family’s journey in this sensitive picture book. . . Mixed-media illustrations from Bui (A Different Pond) focus on interpersonal tenderness and varied landscapes, evoking across somber events a young child’s joy and yearning, and a playful parent-child bond.  — Publishers Weekly


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063060968
  • ISBN 10: 0063060965
  • Imprint: HarperCollins
  • On Sale: 02/07/2023
  • Pages: 40
  • List Price:23.99 CAD
  • Ages: 4 to 8
  • BISAC1 : JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emigration & Immigration
  • BISAC2 : JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Asia
  • BISAC3 : JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Parents

Finding Papa by Angela Pham Krans

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the web site's home page.

Other Booksellers

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the Web site's home page.


Specialty Booksellers

Interest-specific online venues and gift accounts that offer books for purchase. The links will take you to the store’s home page.

International Customers

If you are located outside Canada, the best way to order online is to choose from the following bookstores listed by region and country.