September 17, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

Where’s Halmoni? by Julie Kim | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarKIM, Julie. Where’s Halmoni? illus. by Julie Kim. 96p. Little Bigfoot. Oct. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781632170774.

K-Gr 2 –In this fun adventure story inspired by Korean folktales, young Noona and her little brother Joon step into a fantastical land to find their missing Halmoni (“grandmother”). Their journey partitions into three sections, each highlighting lovable or distrusted figures from traditional stories who help or hinder the kids as they search. Where’s Halmoni? has all the thrills, laughs, and morals that you could want from a good folktale for kids, but among Western libraries, you will actually find very little like it. Not only does it feature an Asian culture and characters, this title makes several distinctive design choices, as well. One example is Kim’s combination of modern and traditional Korean art styles; characters, with their less complicated and more expressive designs, both complement and distinguish themselves from the stunningly painted classic backgrounds. Another is the use of language—while the humans speak in English, creatures from the mythical world respond in Korean. Context makes clear what is being said for those who can’t read it; a pictorial chart in the back also provides a translation. One key line does include a transliteration. Many of the written and visual details (such as the hand signal for “come here”), could be used to promote discussion. VERDICT For its jaw-dropping art, encouraging bilingual attitude, and conscientious portrayal of Korean culture, Where’s Halmoni? is a perfect choice for most collections.–Rachel Forbes, Oakville Public Library, Ont.

This review was published in the School Library Journal September 2017 issue.

Share
Day of Dialog | Brooklyn
Coinciding with Brooklyn Book Festival, this special-engagement event on September 15 will feature both Festival and metropolitan-area authors with panels modeled on Library Journal and School Library Journal’s long-running and annually sold-out Day of Dialog events. Get the inside scoop on the hottest new books—plus book giveaways and author signings!

Comments

  1. What a nice to see such a familiar story!!
    One thing I would like to point out is “Noona” is probably not a name. In Korea, younger brother calls older sister, “Noona,” younger sister calls older sister, “Un-ni.” regardless of whatever older sister’s name. (For older brother, younger brother calls him ” Hyung,” and younger sister calls him “Op-pa.”)
    It would be nice to double check with publisher or author. It may just a word although it is a good chance to learn other culture, I believe.
    Thank you!!

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*