Details: Product Description
Beautifully illustrated and told by debut author Julie Kim, this picture book in a graphic-novel style follows a young Korean girl and boy whose search for their missing grandmother leads them into a world inspired by Korean folklore, complete with mischievous goblins (
dokkebi), a greedy tiger, a clever rabbit, and a wily fox.
Two young children pay a visit to Halmoni (grandmother in Korean), only to discover she's not home. As they search for her, noticing animal tracks covering the floor, they discover a window, slightly ajar, new to their grandmother's home. Their curiosity gets the best of them, and they crawl through and discover an unfamiliar fantastical world, and their adventure begins. As they continue to search for their grandmother and solve the mystery of the tracks, they go deeper into a world of Korean folklore, meeting a number of characters who speak in Korean along the way, and learn more about their cultural heritage.
This beautifully illustrated graphic picture book is filled with a number of Easter eggs for readers of all ages to discover, and is inspired by the Korean folktales that author and illustrator Julie Kim heard while growing up. Translations to Korean text in the story and more about the folktale-inspired characters are included at the end.
From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—In this fun adventure story inspired by Korean folktales, young Noona and her little brother Joon step into a fantastical land to find their missing Halmoni ("grandmother"). Their journey partitions into three sections, each highlighting lovable or distrusted figures from traditional stories who help or hinder the kids as they search. Where's Halmoni? has all the thrills, laughs, and morals that you could want from a good folktale for kids, but among Western libraries, you will actually find very little like it. Not only does it feature an Asian culture and characters, this title makes several distinctive design choices, as well. One example is Kim's combination of modern and traditional Korean art styles; characters, with their less complicated and more expressive designs, both complement and distinguish themselves from the stunningly painted classic backgrounds. Another is the use of language—while the humans speak in English, creatures from the mythical world respond in Korean. Context makes clear what is being said for those who can't read it; a pictorial chart in the back also provides a translation. One key line does include a transliteration. Many of the written and visual details (such as the hand signal for "come here"), could be used to promote discussion. VERDICT For its jaw-dropping art, encouraging bilingual attitude, and conscientious portrayal of Korean culture, Where's Halmoni? is a perfect choice for most collections.—Rachel Forbes, Oakville Public Library, Ont.
Featured in the Seattle’s Child summer reading issue
"Julie Kim has created a visually stunning world that effortlessly infuses Korean text (Hangul) in rich, expressive art."
—Cybils Awards, winner
"For its jaw-dropping art, encouraging bilingual attitude, and conscientious portrayal of Korean culture, Where’s Halmoni? is a perfect choice."
—School Library Journal, starred
“A sophisticated mélange of urban households, traditional Asian landscapes, vibrant color schemes, cultural details, subtle visual jokes, [and] pitch-perfect dialogue… This book is an excellent choice for either the picture-book or graphic-novel collection.”
"Kim's bright, expressive illustrations are a delight...an accessible, diverse title for a broad readership."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred
“The sibling banter is believable and delightful, [and] Kim’s panel sequences teem with energy.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred
"Gentle and humorous."
"Gloriously illustrated, full of wit and whimsy, and always staying true to the traditional tales being referenced, this book deserves every starred review it has re