Friday, June 29, 2018

from Shelf Awareness for readers, June 15, 2018

Saturday Is Swimming Day
by Hyewon Yum
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The stomachache ploy can't get a little girl out of her Saturday morning swim lesson. Armed with her "strawberry bathing suit" and "too-small swim cap," she arrives at the pool, where swim teacher Mary offers little comfort. On the "slippery and cold" pool deck overrun by children loud with happy anticipation, the girl remains virtually paralyzed, her head squeezed by her ill-fitting cap, her belly in turmoil. The other students eagerly jump in, but teacher Mary doesn't insist the child participate--she instead sits "on the edge of the pool the whole time."
The next week, despite another "very bad stomachache," she returns to the pool. This time, Mary entices the girl to practice "ice-cream scoops and kicks," always remaining at her side. By the third Saturday, the stomachache improves, while a new, looser swim cap gives her thinking space. Although she faces the water "carefully," she's eager to show Mary the kicks she's practiced at home in the bathtub. Floating comes next, then a few bobs... until she's actually looking forward to next week's aquatic challenges.
Author/illustrator Hyewon Yum, who earned the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award with Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten!, moves from school to the pool in Saturday Is Swimming Day. Yum uses phrases like "my stomach hurt," "[m]y head felt tight inside my swim cap," "[t]he pool was loud," to signal the girl's anxiety and fear. Her vibrant watercolor and colored pencil pictures amplify the little girl's concerns, depicting her stooped over in defeat, hiding in a locker or hugging the walls, all while surrounded by rambunctious, water-loving children. As the little girl cautiously moves--very much at her own pace--toward comfort and confidence, Yum captures the power of empathic patience to turn apprehension into accomplishment. --Terry Hong,Smithsonian BookDragon
Discover: Swimming lessons give a little girl stomachaches--until her patient teacher gently draws her into the water for floating, bobbing, splashing fun.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

another write up from the Horn Book

" the unnamed little girl in Saturday Is Swimming Dayby Hyewon Yum loves her (strawberry-decorated) swimsuit and is afraid of the water. During her first swim lesson, she stays poolside. By her second, she’s ready to get in, although cautiously. By the third, she’s excited to go to class, and fully participates. Yum’s watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations convey the little girl’s shifting emotions through easy-to-interpret body language. (Candlewick, 4–7 years)”

Review from Kirkus

Another emotionally compelling tale for young readers is Hyewon Yum’s Saturday Is Swimming Day, the story of a young girl’s anxiety about swimming lessons. Yum pays so much respect to the interior lives of children in this story that young readers and listeners will surely relate, even if they’ve never once taken a swimming lesson. It’s less about swimming than it is a triumphant tale of learning to face and overcome fears, something young children do on a regular basis as they learn to navigate this world.
Yum paces the story leisurely, introducing readers to what appears to be the girl’s first swimming lesson, one she tries to get out of by telling her mother her stomach hurts. There’s no doubt, mind you, that the girl’s fears have resulted in actual stomach pain, but her mother takes her to lessons with her teacher Mary anyway. While all the other children run, shout, play, and delight in the pool, our brave protagonist avoids the water as much as possible. She sits on the edge of the pool for the entire first lesson, even showering afterwards so that her hair will be “wet like everyone else’s.”
Bit by bit, step by step, and with great patience on behalf of her and her teacher, she learns to kick in the water, do bobs, and even float on her back. Her joy at having overcome her fear and anxiety is almost palpable. Yum fills these pages with detailed drawings of the other children, imbuing them with distinct personalities, and her palette is a sunny, summery one, filled with the blues of the pool and the bright colors of the children’s swimsuits. When the girl floats in the water on her back for the first time, it is sublime, knowing the girl’s victory as we do: “It was so quiet with my ears in the water, and everything looked different.”

Monday, June 4, 2018

HORN BOOK reviews

Saturday Is Swimming Day
by Hyewon Yum; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Candlewick   40 pp.   g   6/18 978-0-7636-9117-2   $16.99
Like Nelly in No Swimming for Nelly, (reviewed on page 89), the unnamed little girl here is afraid of the water. Her strawberry-decorated swimsuit hangs invitingly from her wardrobe door, but she scrunches her face up and tells her mother that her stomach hurts. Once at the pool, she shrinks from getting into the water, and the teacher doesn’t insist. By the second lesson, she’s ready to get into the pool, albeit cautiously, and the teacher helps her practice “ice-cream scoops and kicks.” By the third Saturday, she is excited to go, and fully participates in the swim lesson. “And no stomachache!” Yum conveys the little girl’s fear and reluctance (juxtaposed with the exuberance and joy of the other children) through body language. In the locker room, she stands apart from the other kids (with their excited gestures and relaxed postures), hands behind her back, head down. As she becomes more comfortable, her limbs are more open and her expression becomes happy and engaged. Yum’s watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations show children with a variety of skin tones and features, including the main character, who appears to be Asian (and has a white mother and no father mentioned, adding an unspoken story some families may especially appreciate). There’s no preaching or reproach or trick here, just adults modeling the patience needed to give an anxious child time and space to try something new. susan dove lempke

Friday, June 1, 2018

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Review from Booklist!

Saturday Is Swimming Day.
Yum, Hyewon (Author) , Yum, Hyewon (Illustrator) Jun 2018. 40 p. Candlewick, hardcover,  $16.99. (9780763691172).

A little girl awakens on Saturday with a stomachache. Since she has no fever, her mother takes her to her first weekly swimming class. She reluctantly dons her bathing suit, but she won’t swim. Instead, she stands poolside and tells Mary, the class instructor, that her stomach hurts. The following Saturday follows the same pattern, but she lets Mary carry her in the water, and she tries to participate. The next week, after practicing at home in the bathtub, the girl begins to relax and join the other kids in trying new skills. Best
of all: no stomachache. The child narrates the story in direct, matter-of-fact sentences. Meanwhile, the artwork, created with watercolor and colored pencil, clearly expresses her initial dread, sadness, and sense of isolation from the other children, as well as her happiness when she joins them in the end. While showing children they can overcome their fear of water and learn to swim, this quiet picture book realistically depicts how slow their progress will be, yet how rewarding. — Carolyn Phelan

Review from SLJ

YUM, Hyewon. Saturday Is Swimming Day. illus. by Hyewon Yum. 40p. Candlewick. Jun. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763691172. 
PreS-Gr 2–A young child conquers a fear of swimming in this charming, child-focused picture book. The unnamed first-person narrator, a preschooler with straight black hair and a strawberry-printed swimsuit, wakes up with a stomachache on the first day of swimming lessons. Blonde, curly-haired Mom offers reassurances that it will probably go away at the pool, but meeting the friendly instructor, Mary, and seeing the excitement of the other budding swimmers can’t drive away the butterflies. The child dawdles in the dressing room and spends the lesson on dry ground. The next Saturday, the stomachache has returned, but Mary is willing to offer support while the hesitant young protagonist tries “ice cream scoops.” Finding the warm water soothing, the positive experience is enough to inspire evening paddling practice at home in the bathtub. Slowly, the child becomes more comfortable in the water (a better-fitting swim cap helps), progressing all the way to floating alone like a starfish and having splashing contests with the other children. Yum’s watercolor and colored pencil illustrations perfectly capture a young child’s expressions, conveying reluctance and nervousness as much through body position as through the text. The instructor and classmates are portrayed as a diverse group inclusive of ethnicity and body type. VERDICT An empowering story of gradually overcoming fear that will resonate with young children. A great purchase for most collections.–Chelsea Couillard-Smith, Hennepin County Library, MN

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Having fun with collage

Review from Kirkus

Author: Hyewon Yum
Illustrator: Hyewon Yum

Review Issue Date: April 1, 2018
Online Publish Date: March 18, 2018
Pages: 40
Price ( Hardcover ): $16.99
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-7636-9117-2
Category: Fiction

In this story about new experiences, readers follow a tiny girl who faces her fear of swimming every Saturday. Trying something new can be scary. Saturday mornings seem to start with stomachaches, as a grumpy little Asian girl fakes illness to avoid going to the swimming pool. She clings to her mom and hides in a locker. Her body language clearly shows her to be uncomfortable and tense as she stands against the wall while other children of all shapes and colors dive right in. Things do not look promising. Week by week, without any pressure from her white mom, she returns to the pool and takes tiny steps forward with the black swim instructor named Mary. Mary guides her away from the pool's edge and gently builds on small successes each Saturday. Illustrations, done in watercolor and colored pencil, show the blue waters of the pool framed by the cold white floor tiles. Colorful swimsuits, bathing caps, and skin tones splash the pages. Slowly, the narrator finds her fearful feelings begin to change. As the little girl's courage grows, the floor tiles slowly disappear, and the pictures become all water. The unnamed child narrates, gender indicated by the style of her swimsuit. This tender and accessible story of bravery and patience when facing a new situation encompasses a wide range of emotions for timid children of all shapes and colors. (Picture book. 4-6)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dogs speaking Chinese

 The Fun Book of Scary Stuff and There are No Scary Wolves are translated in Chinese.
love how the Chinese characters look in speaking bubbles.

A piece of Home in paperbacks!

I'm very happy that A piece of Home is now in paperbacks, available through Scholastic book club~