Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review from SLC

**Reviews from School Library Connection, Aug/Sept 2016 Issue**


Watts, Jeri

A Piece of Home

Illustrated by Hyewon Yum. 2016. 32pp. $16.99 hc. Candlewick Press. 9780763669713. Grades 1-3

Hee Jun leads a very ordinary life in Korea—He goes to school, plays with friends, and enjoys life with his parents, sister, and grandmother. One day his father comes home and announces that they are moving to West Virginia. In his new home, life is far from ordinary for Hee Jun and his family. His normally active grandmother becomes dull and listless. His sister bites, kicks, and spits at her teacher. Hee Jun doesn’t feel like he fits in. Eventually he finds a new friend in Steve and things take a turn for the better. The soft colorful pictures connect beautifully to the emotions and relationships of the characters. This story is a great jumping-off point for discussions around tolerance, differences, and being the new kid in school. Steven Hadge, Library Media Specialist, Robertson Elementary School, Manchester, Connecticut


Thursday, June 30, 2016

BCCB reviews-

A Piece of Home; 

Hee Jun and his family move from Korea to West Virginia, and the adjustment is difficult. His new world is uncomfortably different, particularly the language: “My new classmates smile and talk, but it is a sharp noise. Their names sit like stones on my tongue.” When his little sister, Se Ra, pitches a fit at school, Hee Jun’s grand- mother begins accompanying her to smooth the transition. As the months pass, all three—Grandmother, Se Ra, and Hee Jun—slowly learn to be comfortable in their new environment and by the end of his first year, Hee Jun happily realizes that his new life in America has finally become “ordinary.” Watts presents an emotionally credible account of what life can be like for newcomers to a place and sensitively portrays Hee Jun’s experiences. There’s no single breakthrough moment for him but rather a series of small revelations that play out over a long time. Yum’s tidy watercolor illustrations feature her usual rosy-cheeked figures, and the art skill- fully conveys emotion, increasing the amount of background detail and using an ever-livelier palette as Hee Jun gradually settles into American life. Use possibilities abound for this thoughtful and thought-provoking title. JH

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Piece of Home in the New York Times Book Review

A Piece of Home
Little is as earthshaking as the experience of starting over in not just a new house, but a new country. Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia for his father’s job. He can’t stand being so different from his classmates. English words “feel like stones, heavy in my mouth.” But gradually the strange becomes familiar, and a new friend’s kindness eases his homesickness. Watts’s elegant story and Yum’s soft, radiant art combine to make the book wrenching, hopeful and lovely in equal measure.

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Piece of Home

Hee Jun moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home,where none of his classmates look like him.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Another Star review from PW A Piece of Home

Jeri Watts, illus. by Hyewon Yum. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6971-3


Hee Jun and his family have moved from Korea to West Virginia, where his father has accepted a teaching job. The whole family struggles: “In Korea, I was ordinary,” reflects the school-age boy. “I was not extraordinary, not different.” His grandmother, a “wise and wonderful teacher” in Korea, sits dull-eyed on their new front porch. After Se Ra, Hee Jun’s younger sister, “bites and kicks and even spits on her teacher,” it’s suggested that Grandmother attend school with her so they can both learn English. Yum’s (Puddle) colorful spreads carefully attend to the characters’ expressions, emotions, and relationships. Grandmother’s favorite Korean flower turns out to grow in the garden of Hee Jun’s new friend, Steve. “ ‘Rose of Sharon,’ Steve says. ‘It’s mugunghwa in Korea,’ I say. ‘It’s rose of Sharon here,’ Steve says.” When Hee Jun brings a sprig back to his grandmother, readers know it’s the beginning of an ordinary life for the family. Closely observed and greatly moving, Watts’s (Kizzy Ann Stamps) story is a useful springboard for discussions about difference and tolerance. Ages 5–8.Illustrator’s agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Agency. (June)


Reviewed on 03/25/2016 



Friday, March 11, 2016

A piece of Home -first review, with the STAR, from booklist Piece of Home.
Watts, Jeri (Author) , Yum, Hyewon (Illustrator) Jun 2016. 32 p. Candlewick, hardcover, $16.99. (9780763669713).

“In Korea, I was ordinary,” says Hee Jun, who chronicles his family’s move to America and their gradual assimilation into their West Virginia community. Though he arrives at school knowing no English, within a few months Hee Jun has made a friend and is learning the language. After his little sister, Se Ra, acts out, biting and kicking her teacher, her grandmother stays in class to help her adjust. Soon they’re both learning English. One of the endearing aspects of Watts' book is Hee Jun’s awareness of his grandmother, an honored teacher in Korea, and her initial sense of loss and loneliness, which fade as she learns the language, befriends Se Ra’s teacher, and finds familiar flowers growing in her new country. This gentle, compassionate immigration narrative shows the difficulties of adapting to a new culture. Unlike most picture books on the subject, its setting is contemporary and its intergenerational story reflects the struggles of several family members. Scenes in Korea are written in past tense, but once the setting shifts to America, present tense adds immediacy to the simply worded, effective storytelling. Yum, a Korean artist who moved to America, contributes sensitive and expressive watercolor illustrations. A perceptive portrayal of an important American experience. — Carolyn Phelan

Human hibernator

this is last year's sketchbook, and this year again I was in that black thing. Inside that thing I wear Pilates pants(Sahn thinks it's PJ)
I must be a hibernator, only difference with bears could be that they come out from the cave thin and weary, I came out fat and unhealthy.
I should come out from this cave real soon...