The Most Beautiful Thing

Hardcover, 32 pages, 9.75x11.5, English
by Kao Kalia Yang
ISBN: 978-1541561915

When young Kalia wants ice creams, she has to make do with ice cubes from the freezer. When she wants a new dress for the first day of school, her mother gives her a few coins to spend on candy at the corner store. And when she wants meat for dinner, she must settle for a piece of bone that flavors the family's soup.

Finally, Kalia becomes tired of longing for what she cannot have. When she asks for braces to straighten her crooked teeth, which her family cannot afford, it is her grandmother who helps her see what is truly beautiful.

Drawn from author Kao Kalia Yang's childhood experiences as a Hmong refugee, this moving picture book portrays a family with little money - and a great deal of love. Weaving together Kalia's story with that of her beloved grandmother, the book moves from the jungles of Laos to the family's early years in the United States. Stunning illustrations from Vietnamese illustrator Khoo Le bring this integenerational tale to life.

About the Author

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer, teacher and public speaker. Born in the refugee camps of Thailand to a family that escaped the genocide of the Secret War in Laos, she came to America at the age six. Yang holds degrees from Carleton College and Columbia University. Her works of creative nonfiction include The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, The Song Poet, What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Indigenous Women and Women of Color, and the upcoming title Somewhere in the Unknown World. Yang has also written multiple children's books such as A Map Into the World, The Shared Room, The Most Beautiful Thing. Her work has won numerous awards and recognition including multiple Minnesota Book Awards, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, an ALA Notable Children's Book Award, Dayton's Literary Peace Prize, and a PEN USA Award in Nonfiction.

Khoa Le has illustrated picture books published in a number of different countries. She is also an author, a graphic designer, and a painter. Khoa has a passion for travel, an eagerness to learn about different cultures, and a desire to discover the beauty of the world. Her inner moth makes her attracted to any source of light, but her dream is to one day see the northern lights. She lives in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, with her five cats.