Cover image for Going home, coming home
Going home, coming home
Tran, Truong, 1969-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Children's Book Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
31 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
A young girl visits her grandmother in Vietnam where her parents were born and learns that she can call two places home.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 78068.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books

On Order



A young girl visits her grandmother in Vietnam where her parents were bornnd learns that she can call two places home.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 1-3. This moving bilingual picture book, from an author and artist who are both Vietnamese American, tells a contemporary immigrant story, not of child refugees coming to America, but of a child of those refugees visiting, for the first time, the country her parents still call home. For Ami Chi, eight years old, home is the U.S. She doesn't want to fly to Vietnam and meet her grandmother ( ba ngoai). It's too hot there, Ba ngoai's house is too small, and Ami Chi can't understand what anyone around her says. But then she makes a friend who speaks English, and by the time she returns to the U.S., she recognizes that she is both Vietnamese and American. Phong's richly colored, double-page acrylic paintings capture both the child's dislocation in the strange crowds and the contrast between the two worlds she now knows. Most eloquent is the beautiful close-up of Ami Chi combing Grandmother's hair. Immigrant kids everywhere will recognize the space across generations and the idea that home is not one place. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this intimate bilingual tale bridging two cultures, Tran and Phong, both natives of Vietnam who now live in California, write and paint from the heart (both the English and Vietnamese versions of the text appear on each spread). Eight-year-old American-born Ami Chi narrates as she describes a trip with her parents to Vietnam. She questions why her mother and father "still think of it as home"-even though they haven't been back since they left as children during the war. Initially, Ami Chi complains that Vietnam is too hot, that her grandmother's house is too small (it's "no bigger than our garage back home") and that she can't understand the language. Phong's lush landscapes drenched in green convey the country's beauty, and predominantly red interiors emanate the warmth of the grandmother's home. Several scenes of the market, where Ami Chi becomes separated from her parents, allow readers a wider view of the culture, as the heroine meets a girl who is a kindred spirit, and who helps to change Ami Chi's perspective. The narrative occasionally becomes cloying ("The rain is a neighborhood friend who knocks on your door and asks if you can come out to play"), but the author delivers a message that will strike a familiar and reassuring chord with first-generation Americans. Ages 6-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Eight-year-old Ami Chi makes her first trip to Vietnam, her parents' homeland, and stays with her uncle and grandmother. The heat, the small house, and her inability to understand the language make the child long to return home to America-until she visits a market, makes a friend there, and develops a closeness with her grandmother. She realizes that "Home is two different places, on the left and right sides of my heart." Told through Ami Chi's eyes, the story occasionally lapses into a poetic, adult voice. The impressionistic illustrations, done in acrylic paint on rag paper, fill the entire spread, with the bilingual text sometimes all on one side and sometimes divided between the two pages. Facial features are often missing from people in the background; mouths, when present, are sometimes strangely drawn. It's unfortunate that the objects in the market and on city streets lack a sharp focus; the art fails to provide an interesting look at the country and its culture. That said, this title is still a useful addition for Vietnamese-Americans traveling to their native land with children.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.