Brainy Parenting

The Most Beautiful Thing

Author: Kao Kalia Yang

Illustrator: Khoa Le

Published in 2020 by Carolrhoda Books

The Most Beautiful Thing is a touching and heartfelt narrative inspired by author Kao Kalia Yang’s childhood experiences as a Hmong refugee. This picture book memoir poignantly captures her family experiencing financial poverty, but more prominently, the richness of their intergenerational love and relationship with her grandmother. As a young girl, she longs for treats from the ice cream truck, new first day of school clothes, and braces for her smile that her family cannot afford. As she cares for her grandmother, she hears her remarkable stories of strength and survival, and she comes to find that the most beautiful thing is their enduring resilience and joy. Lush, fantastical illustrations and tender storytelling create a gorgeous portrait of love, strength, and beauty within a multigenerational family.



Additional Resources:

  • Author Kao Kalia Yang website
  • Meet illustrator Khoa Le
  • Video: “The Most Beautiful Thing pronunciation guide”
  • Discussion questions for The Most Beautiful Thing PDF
  • Photographic Family Collage enrichment activity lesson plan inspired by The Most Beautiful Thing and presented by Walker Art Center PDF
  • “See Think Wonder” extension for The Most Beautiful Thing created by Nokomis Montessori Magnet School teacher Christi Schmitt PDF
  • The Most Beautiful Thing Hmong Edition
  • The Most Beautiful Thing Spanish Edition
  • The Most Beautiful Thing Mandarin Edition


This post appeared first on Samantha Cronin's Kid Lit Library.