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Regular price $18.00

Vo, Young

Hardcover, 40 pages

Product Description

Kirkus · Parents · Chicago Public Library · Washington Post · Evanston Public Library · Los Angeles Public Library

Charlotte Huck Recommended Book

Common Sense Media Selection

It’s Dat’s first day of school in a new country! Dat and his Mah made a long journey to get here, and Dat doesn’t know the language. To Dat, everything everybody says — from the school bus driver to his new classmates — sounds like gibberish. How is Dat going to make new friends if they can’t understand each other?

Luckily there’s a friendly girl in Dat’s class who knows that there are other ways to communicate, besides just talking. Could she help make sense of the gibberish?


“A superb picture book.”
—Wall Street Journal

“Masterly. A tender reflection.”
—The New York Times

“The execution is stellar. A visually and emotionally immersive immigration story.”
—Kirkus (starred)

“Delightful. Beginning readers will love this book as the illustrations say it all.”
—School Library Connection (starred)

“Will give hope to kids dealing with a new country and could inspire others to reach out to struggling immigrant children.”
—Booklist (starred)

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-A young boy named Dat and his mah travel to a new country. As Dat prepares for his first day of school, Mah explains that when the people around him speak, the words will "sound like gibberish," and that he should listen and do the best that he can. Throughout Dat's day, he struggles to understand his bus driver, teacher, and classmates. He spends the majority of his day alone, until "someone unexpected" reaches out to him, first on the playground, and then again on the bus ride home.α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


“...a superb picture book...'Gibberish' tells a touching tale that will resonate not only with former outsiders but also with children who might wonder why the new kid at school is so quiet.” ―Wall Street Journal

“...splendid...a powerful story about compassion and finding one’s voice. There are an increasing number of picture books about immigration, but this one stands above the rest in its brilliant and deeply felt depiction of how it feels for children just like Dat.” ― Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

“Brilliant, metaphorical illustrations move from cartooney black and white to realistic color to illuminate Vo’s exceptional storytelling… It’s a must-share book that beautifully shows the challenges of language learning.” ― Melissa Taylor, Imagination Soup

“The ingenuity and playfulness of the art, as well as the book's overarching message, make this title a must for any child's library.” ― Shelf Awareness

"“Vo’s heartwarming immigration story is ­beautifully told, with multimedia illustrations that shine on each spread. This ­uplifting ­story is a welcome addition to any collection.”―School Library Journal ,


"[STAR] “This picture book brilliantly conveys how terrifying and confusing it can be to adapt to a strange country and how much even one person’s acts of kindness can help. This is a story that will give hope to kids dealing with a new country and could inspire others to reach out to struggling immigrant children.” ― Booklist (starred),


“Masterly. A tender reflection of what it feels like, after being socially on the outside, when linguistic connections spark and fizz, and one’s first few words (‘tree,’ ‘boat,’ ‘book’) suddenly multiply to equal ‘home.’”― Kory Stamper, The New York Times

“[Gibberish] reminds me a bit of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, in that it shows a foreign world by making it look literally alien. This one focuses on language, but that’s an important key to unlocking a new place.” ― Geek Dad

About the Author

Young Vo learned to draw before he could write. He drew a lot of characters, then began to write stories for them. There were not many job choices that he could make, so he decided to be an animator, illustrator, and author. Now he writes and draws his stories before the sun rises, then during the day, he animates. Follow him @youngvoart.

Author Residence : Vancouver, WA