Father's Road

tr. from Korean. illus. by Tan Jun. 36p. (Trade Winds). Eerdmans. Jan. 2017. pap. $10. ISBN 9780802854728.
Gr 1–3—Readers meet young Wong Chung, who is on his first journey down the Silk Road. Wong Chung tags along with his father on a long trip through the desert to sell silk in Constantinople. The simple narrative reads like a folktale. "I brought you on this trip so you could learn. One day, you will be a merchant like me. Keep your eyes open and pay attention." The narrative emphasizes the close bond between father and son as they endure sandstorms and bandits before some good deeds change their luck. Jun's stylized, highly textured illustrations convey the dusty feel of the desert through pen-and-ink details. Endpapers include definitions of key terms and concepts, historical background on the Silk Road, and extended information about how goods, ideas, disease, and even religions spread through trading.
VERDICT A story well suited to bringing this specific time in history to life that will enhance school collections.

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