CHI-HOON

A KOREAN GIRL

A typical week in the life of a high-spirited eight-year-old in Seoul, emphasizing her wish to be properly dutiful and respectful (paramount cultural values in Korea) in order to win a prize at school, with excerpts from her diary (the days in Korean characters) and a wealth of information about names, foods, schools, and the city of Seoul. McMahon is candid about the tension between traditional attitudes toward females and the more equitable practices favored by younger Koreans. The several dozen excellent photos are not captioned, even though they are not always adjacent to the relevant text (on page 16, Chi-Hoon is shown holding a braided string of garlic that isn't mentioned until page 21). A few places of interest are described but unfortunately not pictured (e.g., the Gate of Exalted Ceremony); simple maps of the country and the city would also have been helpful. Still, a handsome, informative, and readable photo-essay. (Nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 8, 1993

ISBN: 1-56397-026-0

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1993

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A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape.

RAFI AND ROSI MUSIC!

From the Rafi and Rosi series

The fourth installment in Delacre’s early-reader series centers on the rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, once again featuring sibling tree frogs Rafi and Rosi Coquí.

Readers learn along with Rafi and Rosi as they explore bomba, plena, and salsa in three chapters. A glossary at the beginning sets readers up well to understand the Spanish vocabulary, including accurate phoneticization for non-Spanish speakers. The stories focus on Rafi and Rosi’s relationship within a musical context. For example, in one chapter Rafi finds out that he attracts a larger audience playing his homemade güiro with Rosi’s help even though he initially excluded her: “Big brothers only.” Even when he makes mistakes, as the older brother, Rafi consoles Rosi when she is embarrassed or angry at him. In each instance, their shared joy for music and dance ultimately shines through any upsets—a valuable reflection of unity. Informational backmatter and author’s sources are extensive. Undoubtedly these will help teachers, librarians, and parents to develop Puerto Rican cultural programs, curriculum, or home activities to extend young readers’ learning. The inclusion of instructions to make one’s own homemade güiro is a thoughtful addition. The Spanish translation, also by Delacre and published simultaneously, will require a more advanced reader than the English one to recognize and comprehend contractions (“pa’bajo-pa-pa’rriba”) and relatively sophisticated vocabulary.

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape. (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-89239-429-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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ENEMY PIE

Bland pictures and superficial presentation sink this problem-solver. Feeling slighted by new neighbor Jeremy, the aggrieved young narrator accepts his father’s offer to make an “enemy pie.” Dad insists on doing the baking, but tells the lad that the recipe also requires spending a day playing with the enemy—after which, predictably, the two lads sit down as newly minted friends for pie à la mode. Though the narrator speculates about the pie’s ingredients, the promisingly gross worm-and-weed dishes on the cover never materialize in the illustrations inside, nor are any of Jeremy’s supposed offenses depicted. Instead, King shows the boys in a series of conventional, static scenes, throwing water balloons at girls and other fun activities. Meanwhile, Dad’s fixed, knowing smile invites viewers to share the conceit—even though his naïve son never does catch on. And is Jeremy really so hostile? He displays so little individual character that it’s hard to get a read on him; he just seems to be going with the flow. Invite readers to order up a bowl of Betsy Everitt’s Mean Soup (1992) instead, or a slice of Margie Palatini’s Piggie Pie (1995). (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8118-2778-X

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2000

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