My First Day by Phùng Nguyên Quang

My First Day by Phùng Nguyên Quang
Publisher: Make Me a World
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Suspense/Mystery/Thriller, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

A visually stunning story of resilience and determination by an award-winning new author-illustrator team, perfect for back to school.

This is no ordinary first journey. The rainy season has come to the Mekong Delta, and An, a young Vietnamese boy, sets out alone in a wooden boat wearing a little backpack and armed only with a single oar. On the way, he is confronted by giant crested waves, heavy rainfall and eerie forests where fear takes hold of him. Although daunted by the dark unknown, An realizes that he is not alone and continues to paddle. He knows it will all be worth it when he reaches his destination–one familiar to children all over the world.

Growing up definitely has some perks.

I haven’t come across many mysteries written for this age group, so I was excited to find this one. There were a few clues included about where An was going. People who pay close attention may be able to figure it out before he gets there! It was so much fun to find all of these hints and keep track of them as I turned each page.

There were a few times when I felt the plot was a little thin. As much as I wanted to give this a perfect rating, the storyline was not quite complex enough for me to do that. I loved the spooky atmosphere of it and the big reveal at the end, but I needed something more from the text to be fully satisfied.

The world can feel like a big, scary place sometimes for kids. I was impressed with how well this picture book captured that emotion, especially considering how familiar An would have already been with the route he was travelling. It takes extra effort to add suspense to a moment like that, but it was well worth it for this reader.

My First Day was a memorable adventure.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.