- The Flower petal Dresses of the Dressmaker in the Forest
- Choi Hyang-rang’s earlier volumes, The Dressmaker in the Forest and The Dressmaker in the Forest and the Hairy Monster (both published by Changbi) are heartwarming picture books where a seamstress in the forest makes clothes for sylvan animals and Kungkung, an abandoned puppy. In The Flower Petal Dresses of the Dressmaker in the Forest, children who have come to the dressmaker in the forest put on diversely colored flower petal clothes each day and express their ever-changing minds in terms of colors, thus focusing on color-induced visual stimulation and emotional connection. The page spreads of this latest book follow the order of red-yellow-green-blue-brown-violet-pink-white and each feature a youngster. In disparately colored attires, the children chirp that red clothes make you want to dance, yellow ones make you laugh for no reason, and blue ones make you want to be alone at times. The left side of each spread is decorated with dozens of diverse flowers, leaves, seeds, sepals, colored paper, and fabrics, thus stimulating youngsters’ five senses including vision. On the right side, a child character dressed in petals of the color of each scene expresses any one of a variety of feelings including passion, delight, loneliness, and sadness, thus forging emotional bonds with young readers. As such, this book will help youngsters to look into, understand, and express their own minds.
- Don’t Copy Me
- Don’t Copy Me! is a picture book that depicts how three- and four-year-olds, a time when children form their sense of self and learn to forge relationships with people around them, makes friends with and become close to their peers. It wittily portrays the process through which Sae-mi and Gang-i engage in a mental tug-of-war but are ultimately reconciled while eating snacks together. With her unique sensibility and through heartwarming drawings, Jeong Soon-hee vividly captures and expresses psychological changes in youngsters as they are revealed in ordinary and familiar everyday situations, thus winning and engrossing readers. By muting the background and focusing solely on changes in the movements and facial expressions of the two protagonists and a cat and unfolding the story through simple, repetitive dialogues and a variety of onomatopoeias and words mimicking motions, she immediately captivates readers. Storyline Sae-mi and Gang-i are youngsters aged three or four. Between them is Yaong, a cat. Bored alone, Sae-mi looks at and mimics the animal. Seeing this, Gang-i then apes her, claiming that she is “better” at it. Feeling that the girl is teasing her, the little girl is chafed—even though, she, too, has imitated Yaong. Sae-mi tells Gang-i not to copy her, but she takes no notice whatsoever. In the end, the little girl decides to play by herself once again… Will the two children ever become close friends?
- African Chocolate
- We are in the savannahs of Africa. “Hey, stop!” A band of tourists suddenly appears and chases after animals such as zebras and warthogs in a car, absorbed in taking photographs of the continent’s beasts and pressing the shutters of their cameras each second. In the process, an entire chocolate bar falls from the driver’s mouth through the car window… Which animal will win the trophy, now lying on the ground? “Sniff-sniff, what is this?” A nearby rufous elephant shrew discovers the snack, which is the size of its body, and is about to take a big bite for a taste, only to have it whisked away by a giraffe: “What’s that? Hand it over!” However, a grivet appears all of a sudden, having climbed a tree to approach the lofty animal, and quickly snatches and unwraps the chocolate bar—too preoccupied with the new treat to notice a lion lurking behind a boulder. The scene changes to show the lion sleeping, with the prized sweet securely held in his front paws. A clever agama coaxes the chocolate bar from the king of beasts with a lullaby and darts away, only to find itself face to face with a warthog. The trophy subsequently changes hands, from a cheetah to an elephant and then a cattle egret. None, however, fully possesses it. The chocolate dwindles in size as it melts in the African heat and in and under the mouths and hooves of the animals among which it is passed around. By the time a gorilla finally gets hold of it, the prize has already melted away, leaving only the wrapping. From rufous elephant shrews to gorillas, animals that have had even a taste of the treat now start chasing after the group of sightseers.
- Watermelon Swimming Pools
- A summer festival enjoyed by all in huge, cool watermelon swimming pools! The “watermelon swimming pools,” eagerly awaited by everyone each summer! Clever imagination to beat the heat Watermelon Swimming Pools is a picture book that develops this refreshing and expansive fantasy. It is a sleepy country village. Each year, when the summer sun heats up, “watermelon swimming pools” open. An enormous watermelon splits into two, thus allowing all villagers to dive in and play. Indeed, the watermelon swimming pools are the focus of everyone’s attention. Men working in rice paddies, youngsters playing jumpsies, and women hanging out the laundry to dry all welcome the news of the opening of the watermelon swimming pools. Grownups and children alike jump into the cool watermelon pieces, digging out the meat of the fruit and immersing themselves. Youngsters play by throwing the flesh of watermelon at one another. Some dive from watermelon leaves while others make huge sculptures from watermelon seeds and meat. Looking at the villagers as they forget their daily routines for the moment and enjoy the summer in the watermelon swimming pools, readers, too, will become joyful. In particular, it will be sufficient for children even just to imagine the variety of games that can be played in these sufficient for children even just to imagine the variety of games that can be played in these watermelon swimming pools using the soft, red watermelon flesh, round, black watermelon seeds, and firm, smooth watermelon rinds. The volume portrays the blazing sun, firm watermelon flesh, red and refreshing watermelon juice, children’s laughter, cool showers, scarlet evening glow, and nighttime fireflies, thus prompting readers vividly to feel the atmosphere of summer as they turn the pages. As such, this picture book can be enjoyed by young and old alike each summer. A special space enjoyed by everyone regardless of age, gender, and disability Especially impressive in this book is the harmonious way in which all villagers mingle regardless of age, gender, and disability. Indeed, the first visitor to the watermelon swimming pools is a hoary old man. Though he inadvertently moans, “Alley-oop!” as he bends to sit down, his excitement at seeing the newly opened watermelon swimming pools is no different from that of a child. Though wrinkled, the face of a grandmother riding a slide made of a watermelon rind is full of life. As such, the watermelon swimming pools are spaces where not only youngsters but also middle-aged men and women, elderly men and women, families, friends, and neighbors mix together. Here, even children on wheelchairs have no problem whatsoever in playing with their friends. The back view of the characters who, after playing together regardless of differences, gaze at the sunset shoulder to shoulder will convey to readers warm-heartedness that values one’s neighbors. Heartwarming family love reflected in a watermelon The scene where children return to their respective homes one by one in response to calls of their names after playing until sunset will give young readers the sense of satisfaction that comes from having played to their hearts’ content and prompt adult readers nostalgically to recall childhoods. When maple leaves fall on them and the festival has ended, the empty swimming pools will close, promising enjoyment next year. In the last scene, this book shows an image of an entire watermelon that has been eaten and spoons, all on a small portable dining table, thus implying that the story of “watermelon swimming pools” was in fact a fantasy created while sharing the fruit with one’s family. Looking at this, readers will be able to picture a father returning home with a watermelon for his family. This family may be anticipating water games during the forthcoming summer vacation or may be unable properly to take a summer holiday due to the demands of a busy everyday life. At any rate, the image of a family seated around a table and spending the summer while eating watermelon will warm readers’ hearts.
- The Pink Wrapping Cloth
- This volume is the first original picture book by painter Yun Bo-won. In fact, it is based on the author’s memory of her daughter playing with a traditional Korean wrapping cloth (bojagi) brought by her grandmother at the age of four or five. With a single wrapping cloth, the youngster in this work plays an exciting game all day long. In her imagination, a cheap and common wrapping cloth becomes the longest dress in the world, a carpet that sails across the sky, and a ship unshaken by high waves. Vividly and humorously portrayed is the variegated world of imagination that unfolds in the child’s mind. Ending with the protagonist falling asleep in a snug blanket after a thrilling adventure, the story will provide young readers with joy and satisfaction. Revealed in this work is the author’s warm perspective that play and the imagination are the power behind children’s growth. Transformation into a dress, wings, and a carpet! An exciting imaginative game played with a wrapping cloth The child unfurls and holds up the pink wrapping cloth that Granny has brought. What games will she play with it? The wrapping cloth turns into a gently wagging tail when placed on the buttocks, the longest dress in the world when tied around the waist, a big bag that can hold everything when tied into a loop and slung over the shoulder, and an exciting picnic mat to be sat on together with friends when spread on the floor. Though only a sheet of cheap and ordinary wrapping cloth, it is an incomparably outstanding toy that can turn into anything according to the child’s wish in her imagination. that can turn into anything according to the child’s wish in her imagination. Depicting a child’s thrilling game of imagination, The Pink Wrapping Cloth is the first original picture book by the author, who has created endearing and unique illustrations. It is based on the painter’s memory of her daughter actually playing with a wrapping cloth at the age of four or five. As familiar objects and situations change in a myriad ways and proceed, the story will win the hearts of youngsters who enjoy imaginative games in everyday life. A composition that clearly and simply shows objects and circumstances without long explanations, too, will be readily accessible to children around the protagonist’s age. With a single wrapping cloth, the youngster in this volume excitedly plays all day long. Beginning with small and dainty objects such as a tail, wings, a dress, and a floor mat, her imagination gradually increases as both space and time expand. The wrapping cloth turns into a large and dashing horse and rushes across the sky, a nest that enfolded dinosaur eggs several hundred million years ago and embraces a baby dinosaur, and a carpet that sails across the sky and traverses a vast desert as well. In addition, it becomes a sturdy ship when crossing a rough sea and a high-speed sleigh when passing through forest amidst a snowstorm. Readers will feel the vivacious energy typical of children in the protagonist’s excited play as she travels across a forest, a desert, the sea, a rainstorm, and a blizzard. In the last scene, where the girl finally returns home and falls asleep under the wrapping cloth, which has now turned into the coziest blanket in the world, will present young readers with a sense of both satisfaction and stability. A warm perspective that celebrates the power of play and the imagination For young readers’ ready comprehension, The Pink Wrapping Cloth presents and repeats simply constructed scenes. In each scene, realistically depicted on the left side is a child playing with a wrapping cloth at home and on the right side is the youngster’s inner landscape. While the actual world is tersely portrayed only with lines, without any color, the world of imagination is expressed in gorgeous colors in an exaggerated and humorous manner so as to contrast with reality. Vividly stressing the world that unfolds in the child’s mind, such composition reflects the author’s belief that youngsters grow through play and the imagination.
- Ddolbae Has Been to the Moon
- Kwon Jeongsaeng’s shining stories now available as pictures books! The Kwon Jeongsaeng Literary Picture Book Series Among Kwon Jeongsaeng’s stories for children included in the Changbi Children’s Library Series, works that make for a rich reading have been selected, combined with illustrations, and published as the Kwon Jeongsaeng Literary Picture Book Series. By reinterpreting his long beloved tales with a new sensibility, we seek to create literary picture books that will move everyone from youngsters to adults. In the past, works that are amply readable for infants and primary school students in lower grades regrettably were published in the Changbi Children’s Library Series, thus mainly targeting readers in higher grades at primary schools. We hope that, through the new series, Kwon’s illustrious stories will meet a wider readership, transcending generations. The first volume in this series, the picture book Ddolbae Has Been to the Moon is an illustrated version of the work included in a collection of the same title originally published in 1977 (Changbi Children’s Library Series No. 4). This story has been assessed to reflect well the author’s literary vision from his early years, contemplating on the meaning of life and death from small and insignificant beings. In depicting the little Ddolbae in the face of death, the tale prompts readers to realize that death, too, is a part of life and that everything in this world has its invaluable meaning and use. A story that wholly shows Kwon’s literary vision that the tale of this world must include ditches, the moon, dreams, and sadness alike Ddolbae is a little pear who harbored dreams while gazing up at the blue sky. One day, however, Dol, an urchin by whose house stands the tree from which the protagonist comes, throws away the young fruit after taking a bite. As a result, Ddolbae’s dream of traveling to Seoul on an express bus and of being served on the festive table for Grandpa has come to naught. He then falls into a ditch at the end of the world, where everything festers, rots, and finally dies. Weeping in fear and falling asleep out of exhaustion, Ddolbae is visited and accosted by Baby Star. Baby Star’s words that even filthy ditches, too, are a part of this world and that death is inescapable everywhere reveals Kwon’s life, which was afflicted with illness and overcast with the shadow of death. This tale wholly reflects the author’s belief that beautiful stories can be born into this world only with the existence of ditches, the moon, dreams, and sadness and his literary vision, which sought to sublimate the despair of life and the fear of death with the power of such tales, thus deeply moving readers. both Baby Star and the wings that she put on him, and his appearance is soiled, just as it was the day before. However, in the protagonist’s eye, the ditch is no longer the same. Seeing the string-like leeches and mosquito larvae inhabiting the ditch smell the “fragrance of celestial maidens’ powder” and the “fragrance of heaven” on him and feel happy, Ddolbae realizes that he is not merely a dying thing but a precious being who spreads hope and consolation to those around him. Readers will be deeply moved by a weak, young, and hurt being who thus maintains hope even amidst dismal circumstances and realizes his innate value and use. After returning to the ditch, Ddolbae exudes the “fragrance of heaven” around him and becomes a consoler, thereby demonstrating, in the words of literary critic Yi Jae-bok, that even the ditch, too, can be a “corner of life where precious souls breathe.” In Kwon’s world, even this insignificant pear is a valuable being who presents his friends in the ditch with the fragrance of heaven as he gradually rots. Just as we can see the truth of this world only with the coexistence of death and life, sorrow and joy, and both eyes, ditches, too, must exist when there are lavish and high positions. Just filthy feces turn into manure and make dandelions blossom, all things have their respective roles.