Tiny Feet Between the Mountains

S. & S. Nov. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534429925.
PreS-Gr 2–Diminutive Soe-In works extra hard to keep up with the other villagers, but never lets her small stature become a problem. Cheerful and resourceful, the child finds a way to accomplish her tasks—even if the other villagers look at her askance. When the village is clouded in darkness and smoke, the chieftain asks for a volunteer to investigate. “The crowd was silent. When still no one spoke up, Soe-In took a deep breath and said, ‘Sir, I will go.’” A chorus of voices shout their doubts, but Shoe-In is undeterred. She discovers that the source of the darkness is the Spirit Tiger who, not content with the mountains and forest, seeks to rule the sky and accidentally swallowed the sun. The great beast is miserable, crying and covered with fire as the sun torments him from inside his belly. Soe-In is confident that she can help despite the tiger’s skepticism, and only briefly doubts herself when her first three strategies don’t work. She perseveres and saves the day, earning the respect of her village and a blessing from the Spirit Tiger. Cha’s illustrations are expressive and vivid, allowing readers to immerse themselves in Soe-In’s world. An author’s note about the history and meaning of tigers in Korean lore adds extra resonance to this charming tale.
VERDICT Plucky Soe-In may be extra tiny, but her confidence and resourcefulness should earn her a large space on library shelves everywhere.

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