Monday, April 26, 2021

Star for Grandpa from PW

 Grandpa Across the Ocean 

Hyewon Yum. Abrams, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4225-5


A Korean American child with short black hair and dot eyes struggles to adjust to South Korea when visiting Grandpa, a bespectacled elderly man. Different customs (“When I say ‘Hi,’/ Grandpa bows”), language barriers (“I can’t quite understand what he says,/ and he can’t hear me well”), and unfamiliar food (“Grandpa eats things I don’t want to eat”) unmoor the child, but an accident soon sets the duo on a path toward understanding (“But with Grandpa, I don’t need to say the word for what I want most./ He already knows”). Charming colored-pencil illustrations are punctuated with a few basic Korean words as the narrator and Grandpa embark on market and beach excursions, and grow closer. Told in a pitch-perfect kid voice with a satisfying narrative arc, Yum’s sweetly comedic picture book will resonate with any reader who has experienced diasporic—or generational—tension with an older relative. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Greater Good magazine

Puddle, by Hyewon Yum

On a rainy day, a boy is upset because he can’t go out to play. He is determined to stay in a bad mood and rejects the idea that he could possibly have fun indoors. But when his mom starts drawing, he can’t help but get curious. He starts to give input, and together they collaborate and create a fun rainy-day scene. They decide to turn their imaginative scene into reality and venture out to play in the rain themselves. This “I’m bored” story encourages creativity and collaboration.

Clever Little Witch, by Muon Thi Van and Hyewon Yum

This fanciful tale is about a big sister, Little Linh, who wants her little brother, Baby Phu, to get lost after he incessantly annoys her. She comes up with a transformative plan to help them get along—but is this clever idea the solution she really hoped for, after all? Clever Little Witch explores the nearly universal experience of sibling conflict and humorously entertains children’s capacity to problem-solve with magical thinking. Children are invited to discover that while siblings can be exasperating at times, their redemptive qualities shine through when you least expect it, and remind you how precious these relationships can be.