April 25, 2016
12 More Picture Books about South Korea to Enjoy and a Linkup
This month the Reading Together Family Exploration Book Club read When My Name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park. This YA novel gives a glimpse into what it was like to live in an occupied country during World War II, when Japan had conquered Korea. Korean culture was being outlawed, even to the point of the citizens taking Japanese names and families were forced to hide the culture they were trying to preserve. This was a great read, though one that you will want to save for older children who could pick up on all the nuances.
This is the last week of our time with South Korea, so I wanted to share some other favorite picture books about the country. These are all ones we own personally (I'll star our particular favorites), because we try to give one or two books about Korea to our boys each year to help build the connection to their birth country.
This Next New Year by Janet S. Wong: A story about a half Chinese half Korean American boy celebrating Lunar New Year with his friends.
*Where on Earth is my Bagel? by Frances Park and Ginger Park: Yum Yung REALLY wants to try a real New York bagel, so his whole village in Korea pitches in to find out how.
We Adopted You, Benjamin Koo by Linda Walvoord Girard: Told in the voice of a 9 year old adoptee from Korea, this book shares insights into both the process and the feelings children who are adopted process throughout their life. This one is pretty wordy, so younger children might be less interested.
Dear Juno by Soyung Pak: Juno (in America) shares a sweet correspondence with his grandmother in Korea.
*Something for School by Hyun Young Lee: A little girl wants to wear something special on her first week of Kindergarten.
*My First book of Korean Words: An ABC Rhyming Book by Henry J. Amen IV and Kyubyong Park: A fun take on an ABC book that introduces Korean culture and words.
*The Coffee Can Kid by Jan M. Czeck: Annie and her father look inside a special coffee can and share the story of her adoption from Korea.
When You Were Born in Korea by Brian Boyd: This book is a little outdated now, but it tells the story of how a child is adopted from Korea using photographs of real people and places.
*New Clothes for New Year's Day by Hyn-Joo Bae: A little girl gets dressed in a traditional Korean Hanbok for Lunar New Year. Gorgeous pictures!
All About Korea-Stories, Songs, Crafts, and More by Ann Martin Bowler: For older children, my boys really enjoy looking through this and reading a few pages at a time. Organized by topic, it has recipes and crafts to go along with traditional folk stories.
Korean Holidays and Festivals by Frances M. Koh: Non-fiction about each holiday in Korea, organized by calendar year. Great for ideas if you want to try celebrating one of them with your kids.
Korean Nursery Rhymes-Wild Geese, Land of Goblins and other favorite songs and rhymes by Danielle Wright. This book is all nursery rhymes, but the real fun part is that each one is written in Hangul and English characters and includes the phonetic pronunciation of the Hangul so you could practice reading in Korean.
**Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park: Honestly, this is one of our all time favorite books EVER. The rhyme has a great beat to it, and the pictures are perfect. The recipe in the back of the book for Bee-bim Bop is also in regular rotation for dinner at our house, so be sure to give that a try too!
Have you discovered any new favorites this month? If you're looking for more books on South Korea, Sheila from the Deliberate Reader did a list a few months ago too.
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