Kao Kalia Yang’s New Picture Book From the Tops of the Trees Tells the True Story of the Love Between a Father and a Daughter
MINNEAPOLIS, MN— This October, Carolrhoda Books®, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group™, presents From the Tops of the Trees, a new picture book from acclaimed author Kao Kalia Yang and illustrator Rachel Wada. Yang, whose strong narrative is emboldened by Wada’s signature usage of rich color and texture, takes her real-life experience as a Hmong immigrant in the United States and weaves it into this beautifully expressive story of hope and resilience.
Young Kalia has never known life outside the fences of the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp. The Thai camp holds many thousands of Hmong families who fled in the aftermath of the little-known Secret War in Laos that was waged during America’s Vietnam War. For Kalia and her cousins, life isn’t always easy, but they still find ways to play, racing with chickens and riding a beloved pet dog.
Just four years old, Kalia is still figuring out her place in the world. When she asks what is beyond the fence, at first her father has no answers for her. But on the following day, he leads her to the tallest tree in the camp and, secure in her father’s arms, Kalia sees the spread of a vast and beautiful world.
This powerful story authentically portrays a father’s tenderness as he encourages his daughter to dream of a life beyond their difficult circumstances. With sensitive prose and moments of true joy, young readers will discover wonder and hope on every page.
Advanced Praise for From the Tops of the Trees:
“A visually striking, compelling recollection.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews
“[A]n inspiring and universal vision of hope.”—BookPage
Praise for The Most Beautiful Thing by Kao Kalia Yang:
“A deep and moving reflection on enduring hardship and generational love. . . . Poignant storytelling with stunning visuals.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews
“A sincere narrative that centers on the power of family love.”—starred, School Library Journal
Praise for A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang:
“Contemplative, curious, and kind.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews
“A distinctive story that weaves together threads of family life, community and culture, the natural world, and the power of stories.”—starred, Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American writer and author of the picture books A Map into the World, The Shared Room, and The Most Beautiful Thing as well as a number of books for adults, including The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, The Song Poet, and Somewhere in the Unknown World. Much of Yang’s work is inspired by the people in her life, individuals who have gifted her with the strength of their stories. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, daughter, and twin sons. Visit her online at www.kaokaliayang.com.
About the Illustrator
Rachel Wada was raised between Japan and Hong Kong and is currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has created illustrations for magazines, newspapers, advertisements, and even a mural. The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden, her debut as a children’s book illustrator, received the Freeman Award for Children’s Literature. In creating the artwork for From the Tops of the Trees, Wada referenced photos of young Kalia and her family during their years in Thailand. She loves creating engaging illustrations that are rich in texture, color, and detail. Find more of her work at www.rachelwada.com.
From the Tops of the Trees
October 5, 2021
eBook Also Available
32 Pages ● 9 ¼ x 11
To Purchase: Visit your local bookstore, order by phone at 800-328-4929, or visit us at lernerbooks.com.