Finding Papa (Hardcover)

Finding Papa By Angela Pham Krans, Thi Bui (Illustrator) Cover Image

Finding Papa (Hardcover)

By Angela Pham Krans, Thi Bui (Illustrator)


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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. 



Angela Pham Krans is the award-winning author of Finding Papa, which received ALA’s Asian/Pacific American Honor Award for Literature. Her other titles include Words Between Us and Another Word for Neighbor. Angela enjoys writing humorous and heartfelt stories that highlight relationships between family, friends, and community. When Angela isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling, trying new recipes, and spending time with family. Angela lives in Atlanta with her husband, Hamilton, and their rambunctious dog, Archer. You can connect with her at

Thi Bui is a cartoonist, an educator, a mom, and a restless explorer. Best known for her bestselling graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do, she has also illustrated the children's books Chicken of the Sea and A Different Pond, for which she won a Caldecott Honor. You can find her work and interviews at

Product Details ISBN: 9780063060968
ISBN-10: 0063060965
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 7th, 2023
Pages: 40
Language: English

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