FATHER'S RUBBER SHOES by Yumi Heo
Kirkus Star

FATHER'S RUBBER SHOES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The ache of homesickness is shot through Heo's story of the travails that wait upon the emigrant's experience. Yungsu has just moved to America from Korea. The neighborhood is new, he hasn't any friends, and his father works the long hours of a grocer. Yungsu wants to go home--to Korea. Late one night his father comes to see him in bed. He tells Yungsu the story of a pair of rubber shoes--considered the best shoes to own--Yungsu's grandmother bought his father when he was young. He wanted to keep those shoes forever. ""I want to give you something,"" the father says, ""--like my rubber shoes, but something you can have all the time. That's why we're here. I hope you understand."" It's a quietly epiphanal moment for Yungsu, and his life takes a modest turn for the better. This story has an unpretentious grace about it: The pain is there but so is the peaceful, hopeful presence of Yungsu's mother and father. Heo's illustrations are elegantly, fiercely two-dimensional--primitive, colorful, with all sorts of odd, surprising perspectives and colors: pumpkin orange, grape, olive green, khaki, dusty rose, and maroon on mustard backgrounds. Hope and promise join with longing in a heartfelt book.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Orchard