Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Calling Caldecott from Horn book blog

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten!

yum momitsmyfirstday 301x300 Mom, Its My First Day of Kindergarten!Here’s another book that Robin reviewed for theMagazine but I jumped in and claimed it for the blog.
Trust Hyewon Yum (The Twins’ Blanket) to come up with a new approach the tried-and-true First Day of School Book. All the usual elements are there: worries about being too little, getting lost, not making friends. The twist is that it’s Mom who is nervous while her son the narrator is confident that all will be well.
That twist is a nice touch, but what makes this book stand out for me as a Caldecott contender is Yum’s visual representation of emotions. The nervous mother is wan, literally blue, and tiny next to the son who towers over her in exuberant full color. This amount of visual exaggeration runs the risk of being confusing, but I think the humor is right on target for the specific age it’s aimed at. Is Yum really saying that the boy is complacent while his mother is a bundle of nerves? Or is this a topsy-turvey joke? I think it’s a little of both, and plays into the reality that parents and children BOTH go through nervous moments before and during that big first day.
In the end, the day goes well — as it must be in a book of this sort. When Mom regains her confidence, she gains color and grows to a normal size, just as her son has a momentary flash of blue-faced, shrunken panic. Yum’s takes the imperative to “show, don’t tell” to new levels and readers will quickly pick up on nuances of emotion in secondary characters, too.
I’m glad that Yum now lives in the U.S., making this book eligible for this award. What do you think? Does it have a chance?

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Original Art Show

MOM, IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN is selected as The Original Art 2012.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The New York times likes it, too.

Written and illustrated by Hyewon Yum.
40 pp. Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 4 to 6)
In the enchanting world of Hyewon Yum (“There Are No Scary Wolves,” “The Twins’ Blanket”), parents are the frantic ones while children remain calm and confident. Mostly. Here, Mom worries that the school is big and that her 5-year-old could get lost. “Mom, it’s not that big,” he tells her. “I think it’s just right for a big boy like me.” But by the time they arrive at the classroom, his bright pink cheeks have faded to blue, and he has literally shrunk in size. Their roles flip back and forth until, at the end of the day, the boy assures his nervous mother that school is “awesome.” So is yet another book by Yum.

Monday, August 13, 2012

BookPage's review

August 2012


Each child, whether confident or nervous, stands on the edge of the great unknown when a new school year begins. These dandy books will help the youngest students face this big step toward independence.
In Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! we find out that two people are anxious about the first day: mom and son. At first, the oversized boy bounces out of bed while the nervous mom (small and washed in anxious blue) drags her feet. Using color, size and varying perspectives to show the emotions of both generations of kindergartners, Hyewon Yum captures the nerves, bravado and excitement of the first day.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hooray Parade

I just finished illustrating this book, Hooray Parade  by Barbara Joosse (Viking, summer 2013)


new illustrations from my book THIS IS OUR HOUSE (Frances Foster books, 2013 spring).

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wall Street Journal review

“It may seem the wrong season to be thinking about the coming academic year, but the truth is that if you are 5 or 6 and on the brink of "real" school, you may well be worrying as kindergarten approaches. Hyewon Yum has created a charming, sensitive and fresh-feeling antidote for this fraught time. "Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten!" (FSG, 32 pages, $16.99) inverts the typical scenario in which it is the child who frets. Here it's the child's mother who seems small and frail, looking literally as blue as she feels. "Oh, it's such a big school. You could get lost here," she says. Her son, who appears much larger and more robust, reassures her: "Mom, it's not that big. I think it's just right for a big boy like me." After a first day of (predictable) happiness, the boy strides out into the schoolyard. We see him swept joyfully off his feet and into his mother's arms—now reduced to his proper and very small size, at last.”

Here's the link

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Baker’s Dozen: The Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book works with hundreds of children's books each year.
And "The Twins' Blanket" is in their 2012 list!

Click here to see the list

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Third star came from Horn Book

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! [HORN BOOK]
by Hyewon Yum; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Foster/Farrar    40 pp.
7/12    978-0-374-35004-8    $16.99    g

“Mom, wake up!” In the art, a young boy looms large, while his mom appears small and kind of blue (as in “sad,” though she’s also pale blue from head to toe). Turns out she’s worried. Did she forget to pack his school supplies? “I have my crayons and markers…I’m all set!” Will he be late for school? “We can run!” Youngsters will giggle when she asks, “Will you be okay…you’re still so little”—the illustration shows a big, robust boy and his tiny mom, feet dangling as he pulls her behind him. Kids will get right away that the roles are reversed and that this is mightily amusing. The boy sounds exactly like a parent, telling his mom, “I like to make new friends…and you’ll make new friends, too.” Sure enough, he greets a little girl, and their moms make friends, too. Blue no more, Mom now sports a cheery yellow shirt and pink cheeks. Yum’s (Last Night, rev. 1/09; The Twins’ Blanket, rev. 9/11) breezy illustrations are spot on, the mom’s baby-boy-blue tint aptly reflecting the story’s small-child anxiety. Readers will love the last page, boy and mom normal-size at day’s end—until, that is, he inquires about taking the school bus. jennifer m. brabander

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mom, it's my first day of Kindergarten!

Today, I got a copy of Advance Readers' edition.

Another star from Publishers Weekly

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten!
Hyewon Yum. FSG/Foster, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-35004-8
Anxieties can make anyone feel small and blue, and that’s exactly how Yum (The Twins’ Blanket) portrays a worried mother whose son is readying for his first day of kindergarten. “What if you don’t have time to finish your sandwich at lunch?” she asks, barely tall enough to peer her blueberry-tinged face over the edge of the table at her full-size son, who clearly can’t wait for the big day to start. “We don’t know anyone here. I miss your old teachers and your friends,” she says later, looking forlorn and tiny at the front steps of the school, which her son climbs with the canny look of a seasoned pro. Is Mom really as worried as she looks—or is the boy projecting his fears onto her in order to maintain his persona as a confident “big boy”? Although some readers may suspect the latter—especially when the boy has his own brief blue period at the kindergarten threshold—Yum isn’t telling. And therein lies the joy of this inventively styled, deeply empathic book. Ages 4–7. Agent: Sean McCarthy, Sheldon Fogelman Agency. (July)

Friday, May 4, 2012


Yum, known for using text and artwork to explore emotions (There Are No Scary Wolves, 2010, etc.), looks at the first day of school from two points of view—that of a little boy who is more than ready and a nervous mother not quite prepared to let him go.

The author’s watercolors are the true standout here, the colors and relative sizes of the characters masterfully conveying their emotions—many spreads could stand on their own without the text at all. Readers first see the pair when the 5-year-old shakes his mother awake on the first day of school; he is huge and pink-faced, towering over his tiny mother, who is blue-faced and cowering in the bed. As the text enumerates her worries (that he won’t have time to eat, she forgot some vital supply, he’ll be late, he’ll get lost, he won’t have any friends), the exuberant boy’s facial expressions, body language and oral responses counter her fears…until they reach his classroom door, and their sizes and colors flip. He quickly gets over it and has a great day at school, greeting his blue-toned mother exuberantly at dismissal, and the two, regular sizes and colors again now that they have survived the day, reunite and share the day’s events.

Yum has perfectly captured the emotional ups and downs of both parent and child in a visually expressive work that will shore up adults as they send their children off on that momentous day. (Picture book. 4-7, adult)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Japanese edition!

It is smaller since Japanese bookstore shelf is smaller. ^^
Looks so cute!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Letter from Japan

The publisher tells me it is from a young admirer (a girl, age unknown, her name is Kanon).
 She says she likes the last spread, the image of twins sleeping under sepalate blanket is very cute,
 and I love you, Hyewon Yum!

Monday, January 16, 2012

비룡소 소식지 인터뷰

작업을 끝낸 지 한참 만에 책이 나온 거라, 책을 받아 들었을 때제 그림이지만 왠지 새롭고 좋아 보이더라고요. 제가 멀리 뉴욕에 살고 있는지라, 한국에서 책이 나와 팔린다는 것이 마치 제가 한국에 한 발 딛고 있는 것 같기도 해 괜스레 설레고 더 좋습니다.
이 판화 작업은 ‘리놀륨컷’이라고 하는데 어릴 적 학교에서 하던 고무 판화와 비슷한 것입니다. 저는 소거법을 사용하는데 같은 판을 처음에는 밝은 색을 찍고 다시 파서 진한 색을 찍어나가는 방법입니다. 사실 드로잉보다 시간도 꽤 걸리고, 힘도 많이 들어서, 제가 작업을 하고 있으면 큰아이가 와서 엄마 너무 힘드니까 이런 거 하지 말고 그냥 그림을 그리라고 하더라고요.
종이에 직접 그린 것이 아니라 ‘찍힌’ 느낌이 바로 판화의 매력인 것 같아요. 그 독특한 질감과 플랫한 느낌이 좋습니다. 점점 컴퓨터로 작업하는 일러스트레이터들이 많아져서인지 판화가 그에 비해 예스럽고 따뜻한 느낌이 더 나는 것 같아요. 모든 것을 조정할 수 있는 포토샵 레이어와는 달리 의도하지 않은 느낌이나 덜 찍힌 느낌 같은 것도 좋고요.
강이는 첫아이의 이름이에요. 저의 두 아이가 아마도 저의 그림책 작업에 가장 큰 영향을 줄 거예요. 아이들에게 이야기해 주고 싶은 일을 책으로 만들 때도 있고, 아이를 키우면서 일어난 일에서 아이디어를 얻기도 합니다. 또 아이들에게 그림책을 골라 주고, 읽어 주면서 저도 같은 걸 배우고, 느끼는 것 같아요. 요즘 제 작은아들이 한참 그림책 읽기에 재미를 붙여서 매일매일 목이 쉬도록 책을 읽어 주고 있거든요. 그러다 보면 가끔은 아이의 눈을 통해서 제가 미처 못 봤던 것들을 보게 돼요. 그림책은 엄마와 아이가 함께 읽어서 ‘감동’이 배가 되는 것 같아요.
저는 뉴욕에 살고 있어요. 아마도 어려운 점은 늘(여기 산 지 8년이 넘었는데도) 이곳이 낯설고 조금은 두려운 점이겠죠. 아직도 이곳에 섞이지 못한 느낌이 많이 들고, 동화책 읽어 주러 도서관에 가서도 영어로 읽어 줘야하니까요. 하지만 사람들의 자유로운 분위기, 뉴욕이라는 멋진 도시가 주는 영감이 저를 쉬지 않고 작업할 수 있게 하는 것 같습니다.
그리고 작가로서는 아무래도 뉴욕에서 작업을 하다 보니 좀 더 많은 사람들에게 공감을 얻을 수 있는 이야기를 쓰려고 노력하는 것 같아요. 예를 들어 쌍둥이 이불 이야기(곧 한국에서도 출간될 예정이에요)를 한국에서 작업하고 한국 독자들만을 생각하고 냈다면 아마 한국적인 배경, 색동 같은 것에 좀 더 포커스를 두었을 거예요. 하지만 문화권이 어디든 누구나 공감할 수 있게 하다 보니 형제간의 갈등에 초점을 두고 풀게 됐어요.
새 책 『Mom, it's my first day of Kindergarten(엄마, 오늘은 유치원에 가는 첫날이에요)』이 7월에 출간될 예정이구요, 내년에 나올 집에 관한 이야기책 『This is our House(여기가 우리 집이야)』 작업을 거의 끝냈어요. 그다음 책은 아직 머릿속에만 있네요.
저는 정말 ‘재미있는’ 이야기를 ‘잘’해 주는 작가가 되고 싶어요. 감동을 주든 고개를 끄덕일 수 있는 이야기든 아이들에게 이 세상을 아주 조금이라도 보여 줄 수 있는 그런 이야기를 해 주는 작가가 되고 싶어요.

The Twins Blanket in French