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Viet Thanh Nguyen, Thi Bui, and Their Sons, Ellison and Hien

January 18, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST

$5 – $24

Do your children doodle and write stories?

Join us in a celebration of artistic family collaboration, and a tale of chickens and pirates with Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer) and Caldecott Prize winner Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do, A Different Pond) and their sons, Ellison and Hien.

Chicken of the Sea is an adorable picture book in which a band of intrepid chickens leave behind the boredom of farm life, joining the crew of the pirate ship Pitiless to seek fortune and glory on the high seas. Led by a grizzled captain into the territory of the Dog Knights, they soon learn what it means to be courageous, merciful, and not seasick quite so much of the time.

A whimsical and unexpected adventure tale, Chicken of the Sea originated in the five-year-old mind of Ellison Nguyen. With his novelist father Viet Thanh Nguyen, they committed the story to the page then enlisted the artistic talents of Thi Bui and her thirteen-year-old son, Hien Bui-Stafford, to illustrate it. This unique collaboration between two generations of artists and storytellers invites you aboard for adventure, even if you’re chicken. Maybe especially if you’re chicken.

Ellison Tai Duong Nguyen likes watching videos and drawing comics and playing with Legos. He also likes reading superhero books and playing superhero games.

Viet Thanh Nguyen is a butler, the Alfred to Ellison’s Batman. When he is not butlering, Viet teaches, writes books, gives lectures around the country, and dreams that he might one day draw as well as Ellison. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer, The Refugees, Nothing Ever Dies, and Race and Resistance.

Hien Bui-Stafford is now a teenager who enjoys sleeping. When he is awake, he reads, draws, plays games, and entertains his younger cousins.

Thi Bui plays a cartoonist on the interwebs and spends her days wheeling a suitcase around the world, talking to people. When she is home, she takes her son out to ramen and they draw together. She is the author of the Caldecott-winning A Different Pond and the American Book Award-winning The Best We Could Do.

Co-sponsored by Djerassi Resident Artists Program.


January 18, 2020
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST
$5 – $24
Event Category:


Kepler’s Literary Foundation
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Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park , CA 94025 United States
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