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The Yellow Áo Dài


The world needs more kindness.

It’s a simple statement but a complex idea. How do we grow kindness?

One way to start is by reading The Yellow Áo Dài by Hanh Bui. The mother’s kindness in the book overwhelmed me. Listen to my in depth conversation with Hanh about why she chose to portray kindness in The Yellow Áo Dài here.

If you don’t want to listen to an in depth conversation, then trust my students. Here’s what a few of them had to say about this heartwarming book:

A.S. wrote, “Why I  would recommend The Yellow Ao Dai is because I enjoy how her mom understands she didn’t mean to do it. Once I broke a glass plate by accident and my mom got mad because she was tired after cleaning our whole house and i had to clean it up and got in big trouble…” But in the book, “Her mom did the same exact thing when she was younger she ripped the yellow dress and she understood. Naliah cried because she didn’t mean it and I love how her mom hugs her and says it’s ok we can fix it.”

D.P. wrote, “I would recommend this book because of the kind parents. Why the kind parents? Well, when I make mistakes my parents (mainly Mom). Has connections to this Mom in the story. Because when I accidentally do something, my parents act the same way.”

I.D. wrote, “I would recommend The Yellow Ao Dai because when you read it, you may reflect on your childhood or past events when you make a mistake like ripping your grandmother’s favorite piece of clothing, or maybe you dropped a china dish that was your ancestors favorite antique. Then, your mom or dad may be mean or not forgiving. If you are a parent, maybe this will teach you to be nicer to your children, grandchildren, cousins, or any other relative. In the books case, the main character, Naliah, didn’t have clothes that fit her so she borrowed her grandmother’s old ao dai. She was practicing her dance, then she tripped and ripped the ao dai. She hid it in the closet and eventually her mother found out. But instead of her mother being cruel, she actually was forgiving because she had also ripped her grandmother’s ao dai. Thank you for listening to my recommendation. I hope whoever reads this will think about reading The Yellow Ao Dai!”

Yes, read The Yellow Áo Dài. It’s a simple way to sow seeds of kindness.

Happy spring everyone!

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