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YOON AND THE CHRISTMAS MITTEN by Helen Recorvits Kirkus Star


by Helen Recorvits & illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 2006
ISBN: 0-374-38688-9
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In their second collaboration about a Korean-American girl named Yoon, this team continues to explore the sensitive little girl’s adjustment to living in the U.S. When Yoon learns about “Mr. Santa Claus” and hanging up stockings on Christmas Eve, she wants to have those traditions at her house, too. Her parents are against any sort of Christmas celebration, observing Korean New Year’s Day traditions instead. In her own distinctive way, Yoon makes her parents realize how important it is to her to try to fit in with her classmates by observing Christmas. On Christmas Eve, a “shadow figure” leaves a package with a new red dress next to Yoon’s bed and a tiny present in her mitten: her first candy cane. When she returns to school, Yoon wears her new dress and tells the class about her Korean New Year’s traditional celebration. The first-person narration effectively conveys the innocent, limited viewpoint of a six-year-old and her intense need for acceptance by both her parents and her peers. The magnificent illustrations are painted in a distinctive style with elements both impressionistic and surrealistic, perfectly suiting Yoon’s changing world. (Picture book. 4-8)