Thao: A Picture Book
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About the Author
THAO LAM is the critically acclaimed author/illustrator of THAO, Wallpaper, My Cat Looks Like My Dad, Skunk on a String, and The Paper Boat, named a best book of 2020 by Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal, NYPL, and others . She studied illustration at Sheridan College and has an insatiable love of colored and textured papers, which she uses to create her exuberant collages. She draws inspiration from the stories she hears, from the beauty in everyday things, and from the work of the many illustrators she admires. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Anyone in an unfamiliar environment will be able to relate... This work's clever construction and stark simplicity embody a kaleidoscope of 'mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors.'-- "Kirkus Reviews"
Collage illustrations combine a paper cast with trimmed snapshots of Thao herself, a visual strategy that grounds the story in an all-too-real past and underscores her unassailable pride in identity. This is a genial but pointed primary-grade reminder that names matter, and names deserve respect.-- "Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"
A terrifically complex picture book that packs depth as well as moments of levity within the limits of its format. Its sincerely empathetic perspective offers encouragement to readers with similar life experiences, while all readers (children and parents alike) may be inspired by THAO to reflect on how their own actions can better support and celebrate cultural diversity.-- "Quill & Quire"
Exquisite ... A story that will resonate with children who find fitting in a challenge.-- "The Globe and Mail"
Rendered in Thao Lam's playful cut paper collage, this humorous and resonant story is for anyone who's ever felt out of place. It's also a celebration of each of our names, our identities, and our diversity.-- "Avery & Augustine"
The autobiographical element here adds a distinctively personal inflection. A lighthearted assertion of identity, particularly strong on appeal for younger children who have had to adjust to the demands of white American culture.-- "School Library Journal"
Affirmational for students with names that are frequently mispronounced and instructional for others. This book would be a perfect opener for building community at the part of the school year, emphasizing the importance of getting things right from the start.-- "Youth Services Book Review"
"Thao's story is empowering and the message about the importance of using one's correct name is meaningful."-- "Literacy On the Mind"
"Lam poignantly shares events from her childhood ... Simple, yet profound, and full of heart and empathy."-- "Sal's Fiction Addiction"
"Exquisite collaged art mixed with photographs ... Nothing is 'foreign' if you take time to know it, and the deeply touching THAO soars through its eloquent understatement of this truth."-- "The New York Times"