A review by literaryventure
The Magic Fish, by Trung Le Nguyen

5.0

this graphic novel is a masterpiece. visually, i love the drawings done in primary colors to separate the present, fairy tale retellings, flashbacks, etc. the art is magnificent, absolutely beautiful. i highly recommend not skipping the “between words and pictures” section at the very end. the fairy tale retellings are wonderfully magical and highly enjoyable. i really love fairy tale retellings and the ones in this book are amazing.

the story itself is what makes this book so precious to me. it explores the negatives that can come after immigration, grappling with one’s sexuality, and how storytelling is a mode of escapism as well as an anchor for connection. i liked how this was a combination of tien and his mom’s perspectives, as it allows readers to see how both of their narratives play out and how they connect. this book proves that a picture does speak a thousand words because i came away from this feeling like i read all the unspoken words that the pictures are able to tell. it’s a magical, heartwarming book that has my unceasing appreciation.