Interested in teaching your children about Korea? Many children learn more effectively when the facts are told through stories. Here are two awesome books to read to your kids about Korea.
In The Moonlight Mist ~ A Korean Tale by Daniel San Souci and Eujin Kim Nelian
This book is a retelling of an ancient fairy tale about a lonely woodcutter who finds true love with the help of an enchanted deer he meets in the forest. After the woodcutter saves the deer’s life, the deer tells him about a group of heavenly maidens who come to earth each night, and how he can win one of the maidens to be his wife. They do end up marrying and having a child, but, of course, the characters can’t live happily ever after that easily. The wife ends up going back to heaven and taking her baby with her. All ends well, though, because the magical deer tells the woodcutter how he can join his bride and child in heaven. The gorgeous illustrations are acrylic, painted to look like they were painted on wood. The cover in blues and greens has an especially magical, ethereal feel.
Mr. Pak Buys a Story by Carol Farley, illustrated by Benrei Huang
This book is a retelling of a Korean folk tale. Mr. Pak, Mrs. Pak, and their servant often find themselves bored in the evenings, so they tell stories for entertainment. The folk tale is set in ancient times, so obviously they have no television. This can provide a springboard to talk about modern technology and how it has affected our lives.
The three characters grew tired of the same old stories, so Mr. Pak went in search of a new story. He found one and bought it, but no one really understood it. I don’t want to give away the end and spoil it for you, but suffice it to say this adorable story made my children and I laugh out loud at the end. The illustrations are brightly colored and have a comical feel, matching perfectly with the story.
San Souci, Daniel, In The Moonlight Mist A Korean Tale, Illus. Eujin Kim Neilan. First edition, Housedale, Pennsylvania:Caroline House Boyds Mill Press, Inc. 1999.
Farley, Carol, Mr. Pak Buys a Story, Illus. Benrei Huang. Morton Grove, Illinois:Albert Whitman & Company, 1997.