Artist Minnie Phan Launches Her Children's Picture Book "Simone"


Join us on Saturday, May 18th at 5:00 pm when Oakland illustrator MINNIE PHAN comes to the store to launch her new picture book Simone, written by collaborator Viet Thanh Nguyen. Minnie will read from and discuss her book and will sign copies after the presentation. Joining her in conversation is illustrator-author SOPHIE DIAO.

This is a free event, but you must pre-register on Eventbrite or in the store to ensure seating.  Click Here to preorder a copy of Simone.

From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen and illustrator Minnie Phan comes an unforgettable story of a Vietnamese American girl whose life is transformed by a wildfire.

When Simone is awakened by her mom as a wildfire threatens their home, it is the beginning of a life-changing journey. On their way to take shelter in a high school gym, the family passes firefighters from a prison unit battling the fire. Simone’s mom tells her that when she was a girl in Vietnam, she was forced to evacuate her home after a flood. Joined by other children sheltering in the gym, Simone, a budding artist, encourages everyone to draw as a way to process their situation.

After a few days, Simone and her mom are able to return to their home, which is fortunately still standing, and her outlook has changed. As Simone begins creating a piece of art with one of her new friends, she realizes that even though they are young, they can dream and work together for a more sustainable future. With a poetic, haunting family story by esteemed author Viet Thanh Nguyen and gorgeous art from illustrator Minnie Phan, this powerful tale introduces an unforgettable young heroine who awakens to a new role fighting for her community and for the future of the planet.

MINNIE PHAN is an illustrator and writer based in Oakland, CA. Her work has been featured by Google, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the San Francisco Public Library, for which she illustrated a citywide reading campaign in 2022. She is the illustrator of Simone, written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, and The Yellow Áo Dài, written by Hanh Bui. Learn more at and follow her on Instagram @minnie_phan.

SOPHIE DIAO is an artist living in Oakland. She's an illustrator of children’s books, including the upcoming From Park to Playa: The Trails That Connect Us written by Nell Cross Beckerman, Sarah and the Big Wave written by Bonnie Tsui, and the bestseller I Am Golden written by Eva Chen. She is the creator of Tiny Troubles: Nelli's Purpose and is the talent behind many a Google Doodle. Learn more at .

THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 4:30 pm on May 18th.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 4:45 and 5:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

Saturday, May 18, 2024 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Event address: 
Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore
2904 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Simone By Viet Thanh Nguyen, Minnie Phan (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Viet Thanh Nguyen, Minnie Phan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781662651199
Availability: Most titles are on our shelves or available within 1-5 days.
Published: Minerva - May 7th, 2024