Friday, February 9, 2018

Where's Halmoni? by Julie Kim

This is a delightful, new, and unique book to offer beginning chapter readers. The story begins on the endpages, as a grandmother buys a cupboard... and something surprising comes out of it and swallows her up!

When her grandchildren arrive a few moments (and pages) later, they go on a journey to rescue her, encountering magical creatures both helpful and frightening, a clever rabbit, and one scary tiger. There are all sorts of clever jokes and hidden surprises for readers to discover throughout the book, as well as a satisfying story.

Kim's art is a blend of traditional and contemporary. The kids wear contemporary clothes and equally contemporary grouchy expressions (long journeys in a magical world are exhausting!) and there are comic panels and and a linear flow of the story. But there are also fantastic creatures from Korean legend and culture, Korean script interwoven, and lush blues and greens, vivid oranges, and lots of curving lines and smooth earth tones.

The final pages translate the Korean language included and an author's note explains some of the history and tradition, both cultural and personal, behind the book.

Verdict: I have a small Korean population which I think will appreciate this, but all of my graphic novel fans are sure to find it a delightful adventure with funny jokes and interesting creatures. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781632170774; Published 2017 by little bigfoot/Sasquatch; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

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