The Words We Share

By (author): Jack Wong

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

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.

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 up-and-coming author-illustrator 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.


Jack Wong

JACK WONG is based in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, Nova Scotia. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, Jack creates stories indelibly marked by a first-generation Asian Canadian experience. His first book, When You Can Swim, won the 2023 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award.


“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.”

“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.”


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


  • Best of 2023 Picture Book Award, Bookstagang 2023, Winner
  • Blue Spruce Award, OLA 2023, Nominated
  • Community Favorite Best Biography Books, Bookstagang 2023, Winner
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    40 Pages
    11.10in * 8.60in * .30in


    September 19, 2023


    Annick Press



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