A sensitively told educational story of particular interest to caretakers interested in educating children about...

READ REVIEW

From Korea to California

OUR JOURNEY TO AMERICA

In this historical fiction picture book, Cha (The Professionals, 2014) uses one family’s story to share an overview of Korean immigration to California during the first half of the 20th century.

Doran Pak and her family live on a farm in a small Korean village. Kim’s muted pastel drawings show the family hard at work. As Christian missionaries spread their doctrine throughout the marketplace and advertise the opportunities to be had, a neighbor approaches the family and explains that many Koreans are moving to Hawaii in pursuit of promising farm work. An official order from King Gojong allows Koreans to immigrate to Hawaii for work. Though Cha’s simple explanation allows children to partially understand the immigration movement, the complexity and history behind the king’s ruling is beyond the scope of the story. Regardless, Doran’s family decides to move to Hawaii and eventually California. Initially reluctant to move to America, Doran settles in to her Californian surroundings—bright, minimalist images show her enjoying oranges from the orchard—as her family becomes involved in church and the burgeoning California Korean community. Through the Pak family’s experiences, Cha tells the story of immigrant success in farming and their subsequent ability to support the Korean independence movement. Cha explains, in ways accessible to children, how California Koreans organized in support of Korea against Japanese rule by forming marches and later joining American forces during World War II. The book ends with a historical timeline about prominent Koreans and American missionaries. Text is broken into short paragraphs, but the inclusions of Korean words and historical facts make this a book best read aloud by a caretaker or by a child transitioning to chapter books. The dull typeface could be better integrated with Kim’s soft, simple illustrations, which offer warm ambience. Overall, however, Cha deftly handles relating a complicated history in a way children can begin to comprehend.

A sensitively told educational story of particular interest to caretakers interested in educating children about Korean-American history.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4675-9779-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: Central California Korean Historical Society

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...

WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO

Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more