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Children's Books on Korean Culture

Recommended books on Korean Culture for families involved in adoption from Korea. This section is currently being expanded. Reviews and more books are on the way.
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Bee-bim Bop!
by Linda Sue Park, Ho Baek Lee

"A colorful and lively little book with images and sounds of making Bee-bim Bop (Korean "suishi") in the kitchen." (Allison Martin)
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Count in Korean with your children.

Land of Morning Calm: Korean Culture Then and Now
by John Stickler, Soma Han Stickler
From the publisher: What was life like in Ancient Korea? What did people eat? What did they believe in? How is it different now? Read about the legend behind the founding of Korea, the meaning of the flag, and the creation of the Korean alphabet. Learn how to make kimchi, how to celebrate Korean holidays, and how people ironed their clothes before electricity. Every page explains an aspect of Korean culture and its changes through the years. Grades 3-8.
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When You Were Born in Korea - a wonderful classic

Sori's Harvest Moon Day : A Story of Korea
by Lee Uk-Baeand Ok-Pae Yi

"The story of Sori's visit from the city to her grandmother's home in the country portrays the Korean celebration of the Harvest Moon, with an interesting mixture of past and modern, reminiscent of present day lift in Korea. The pictures are enticing, and at times humorous. This children's book will engage parents and children, while they learn about the Korean celebration of the Harvest Moon festival." (Allison Martin)
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Korean Children's Stories And Songs
by Peter Hyun

"A variety of Korean stories and baby songs. Oddly, the children and adults do not look Korean except in the folk tale presentations." (Allison Martin)
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Peach Heaven
by Yangsook Choi

The Korean town where Yangsook lives is famous for wonderful peaches, but one year a heavy rainstorm threatens the crop. Yangsook finds herself in peach heaven - until she remembers the farmers who have lost their harvest, and decides she must help them. Paintings with scenes that evoke traditional South Korean landscapes accompany this story from the author's childhood.
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The Firekeeper's Son
by Linda Sue Park, Julie Downing (Illustrator)

In eighteenth-century Korea, after Sang-hee's father injures his ankle, Sang-hee attempts to take over the task of lighting the evening fire which signals to the palace that all is well. Includes historical notes.
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Where on Earth is My Bagel?
By Frances Park and Ginger Park

"A favorite bedtime story in our household... Yum Yung, a young boy living in Korea, wakes up one day with an inexplicable longing for a delicious New York city bagel. The upbeat story and colorful art work will bring a smile to your face." (Allison Martin)
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Sim Chung and the River Dragon: A Folktale from Korea
By Ellen Scecter

"A easy reader folk tale from Korea. This is a famous story of a young girl whose love saves her father when she faces a River Dragon. Beautiful illustrations in this version." (Allison Martin)
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The Green Frogs : A Korean Folktale
by Yumi Heo

A Korean folktale about two green frogs who always disobey their mother, explaining why green frogs cry out whenever it rains. It is quite lively and cheerful until the end, when their mother's grave is washed away due to their failure to be obediant - a rather harsh lesson but not inconsistent with Korean emphasis on the importance of right behavior and caring for your ancesters.
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The Moles and the Mireuk - A Korean Folktale
By Holly Kwon

"In this allegory father mole is so proud of his lovely daughter that he wishes her to marry the most powerful husband in the universe."
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Korean Children's Favorite Stories
by Kim So-un, Jeong Kyoung-Sim (Illustrator)

A collection of Korean folk tales, some familiar, some less so.
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The Kite Fighters
by Linda Sue Park

"An engaging children's novel set in fourteenth century Korea. Two brother, Young-sup (the youngest) and Kee-sup (the older brother), discover that they have different talents and responsibilities as they work together to enter their home made kite into the New Year's kite fighting competition. Park's brings this ancient time to life, as she gently interweaves Korean history and culture into this intrigiuing drama. " (Allison Martin)
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Mr. Pak Buys a Story
by Carol J. Farley, Benrei Huang (Illustrator)

"In this retelling of a Korean fable, a silly story that a servant buys from a thief proves to be well worth the price when the thief comes to visit. An upbeat tale of villagers who triumph over adversity. The illustrations leave something to be desired but the story is enjoyable." (Allison Martin)
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The Seesaw Girl
by Linda Sue Park

"Jade invents the Korean seesaw, which young Korean girls used to see the world beyond their confinement. Jade's spunk and sense of humor keep the book from being depressing, while her adventures provide an engrossing introduction to life in feudal Korea." (Allison Martin)
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The Korean Cinderella
by Shirley Climo

"An expansion of the Cinderella story, with Korean illustrations."
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Korean Games
by Frances M. Koh

"There are not many books available on Korean games, a popular subject for Korean culture camps and adoptive families. This book gets you started.." (Allison Martin)
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Count in Korean with your children.

Sing 'n Learn Korean: Introduce Korean with Favorite Children's Songs / Norae Hamyo Paeunun Hangugo (Book & Cassette)
by Bo-Kyung Kim, Selina Yoon
Native songs and familiar melodies from Korea with basic vocabulary and pronunciation - includes greetings, numbers, family, animals, weather, colors and more. The Cassette has 23 vocals in Korean on one side and music only on the other. The book also includes English translations, pronunciation guide, suggested activities and instructional guides.
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Count in Korean with your children.

Count Your Way Through Korea
by Jim Haskins
"A fun and informative book for children adopted from Korea. Learn to count in Korean, with simple explanations of Korean culture. A great bed time book to share with your child." (Allison Martin)
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A look at life in Korea.

Chi-Hoon : A Korean Girl
by Patricia McMahon
"A bit dated, but still intriguing. An introduction to life in Korea, as seen through the eyes of a young girl as she goes about her week. An insight into life of Korean girls. Hint! Its not all fun and games... Chi-Hoon visits her grandparents, goes to school, does her homework, and visits a temple and park, and shops in the city." (Allison Martin)
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