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Children's Fiction Diversity & Multicultural

The Words We Share

by (author) Jack Wong

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Diversity & Multicultural, Asian American, General, Emigration & Immigration
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 4 to 7


“A must-buy.” —School Library Journal

A young girl helps her dad navigate life in a new country where she understands the language more than he does, in an unforgettable story about communication and community by Boston Globe–Horn Book Award-winner Jack Wong.

Angie is used to helping her dad. Ever since they moved to Canada, he relies on her to translate for him from English to Chinese. Angie is happy to help: when they go to restaurants, at the grocery store, and, one day, when her dad needs help writing some signs for his work.

Building off her success with her dad’s signs, Angie offers her translation skills to others in their community. She’s thrilled when her new business takes off, until one of her clients says he’s unhappy with her work. When her dad offers to help, she can’t imagine how he could. Working together, they find a surprising solution, fixing the problem in a way Angie never would have predicted.

A gorgeously illustrated picture book from Boston Globe–Horn Book and Governor General award-winning creator Jack Wong (When You Can Swim, Scholastic) that is at once a much-needed exploration of the unique pressures children of immigrants often face, a meditation on the dignity of all people regardless of their differences, and a reminder of the power of empathy.

“Beautifully written and illustrated. . . . I am so glad this book exists in the world.” —Bao Phi, author of the Caldecott Honor and Zolotow Award-winning A Different Pond

About the author

JACK WONG (黃雋喬) was born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, BC. He left a career as a bridge engineer to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts at NSCAD University in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, NS. All That Grows owes to all of the above — to taking a leap to learn new things, and to the sanctuary of big neighborhood walks in a small city, especially during the first spring of the pandemic when the seeds of this book were planted. Jack is also the creator of When You Can Swim (Boston Globe–Horn Book Award).

Jack Wong's profile page


  • Winner, Ann Connor Brimer Award
  • Joint winner, Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year
  • Joint winner, Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices
  • Winner, Community Favorite Best Biography Books, Bookstagang
  • Winner, Best of 2023 Picture Book Award, Bookstagang
  • Nominated, Blue Spruce Award, OLA

Editorial Reviews

“[A]n expressive and compassionate glimpse into the struggles immigrants face.”

Kirkus Reviews, 07/25/23

“This tale presents a hopeful perspective on immigrant life, vividly portraying resilience, a spirit of community, and the enduring bond of family, making it a poignant and uplifting read.”

Horn Book Magazine, 11/23

“This joyful story is about the power of speaking more than one language, the safety of having caring adults around, the confusion of living somewhere where you’re not a native language speaker, and a reminder that adults who have yet to master their new homeland’s primary language are still adults, with skills, proficiencies, and knowledge.”


Youth Services Book Review *starred review, 08/15/23

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