The Doll

A picture book by Nhung Tran-Davies, illustrated by Ravy Puth.

Nhung Tran-Davies, illustrated by Ravy Puth 

A young girl and her family arrive in an airport in a new country. They are refugees, migrants who have travelled across the world to find safety. Strangers greet them, and one of them gifts the little girl with a doll. Decades later, that little girl is grown up, and she has the chance to welcome a group of refugees who are newly arrived in her adopted country.

To the youngest of them, a little girl, she gifts a doll, knowing it will help make her feel welcome. Inspired by the author's own experience as a child refugee, when a stranger's wonderful gift made such a difference that she was determined to repeat it years later.

This story is about a doll I was given when I first arrived in Canada, at the age of five, as a refugee from the Vietnam war 40 yrs ago.

Adrienne, the young girl who gave me the doll remains a special part of my life. Her act of kindness 40 years ago ripples forth through the years as I, in turn, recently sponsored a Syrian refugee family. It was my turn to give the little Alma a doll. In 2018, the doll was displayed at Pier 21 Museum in Halifax, and for the next five years, she will be travelling across Canada to tell our story. (From Second Story Press)

The Doll is a finalist for the 2022 Blue Spruce Awardwhich celebrates picture books for readers in kindergarten to Grade 2.

Nhung Tran-Davies is an Alberta author, physician and advocate for social justice through education. Her family came to Canada as refugees from Vietnam in 1978. 

Ravy Puth is a Montreal-based visual artist and illustrator.

From the book

A page from The Doll by Nhung Tran-Davies, illustrated by Ravy Puth. (Second Story Press)

Interviews with Nhung Tran-Davies

Journey comes full circle for former refugee.

8 years ago
Duration 5:38
Featured VideoNhung Tran-Davies was a Vietnamese refugee privately sponsored by a group of Canadians in 1979. Now she is sponsoring a family of Syrian refugees.

Children’s book by former Vietnamese refugee a story of welcome

2 years ago
Duration 1:37
Featured VideoForty years after arriving in Edmonton as a refugee and being gifted a doll, Nhung Tran-Davies offered a doll to a newly arrived Syrian girl — a story captured in her newest book.

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