Summary: The Doll by Nhung N. Tran-Davies
The Doll is a picture book based on true life events. When a family arrives as refugees from war-torn Vietnam. The family is understandable disoriented and the children cling to their mother at the airport. There, a little girl hands a doll to the youngest daughter. The small gift is welcoming, reassuring to the child and stays with her throughout her childhood and into adulthood. Eventually, she is able to hand that same doll to another child from a family of refugees at another airport.
This is a sweet picture book, both in concept and execution. The writing is simple enough, although it will likely be more impactful read by stronger child readers or adults. I found the images to be evocative, as the illustrator depicts the “boat people” and the struggles they face as they travel to find safety for themselves and their families.
I found the illustration of the doll itself to be a bit creepy, but everything else in the book I liked. I can only imagine how emotional this book will be for children and grandchildren of immigrants whose family members have had to flee their countries of origin. It was heartwarming to see also how well children of immigrants often do, with the child growing up to become a physician like the author is.
Overall: The Doll by Nhung N. Tran-Davies
The Doll by Nhung N. Tran-Davies is a moving picture book about immigration and the power of kindness. This picture book provides a heartrending peek into the challenges of having to flee one’s home country as well as the power of a simple gift and the impact of welcoming immigrants (who in turn help to build our countries). This one would be a wonderful conversation starter both at home and in classrooms.
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I received an eARC of this book from the publisher from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.