Thursday, November 17, 2022

My GrandMom written and illustrated by Gee-eun Lee, translated by Sophie Bowman

My GrandMom written and illustrated by Gee-eun Lee,
translated by Sophie Bowman
Amazon Crossing Kids, 2022, 40 pages

Grandparents are often such important part of a child's life (if they are lucky enough to have them and they live nearby) and this is a particularly endearing story because it is based on the author's own experience with her Halmonie. Much to her distress, Gee-eun's parents work long hours and she must stay home with her GrandMom. Trying to calm her granddaughter down, GrandMom suggests they make kalguksu, a knife cut Korean noodle soup. While GrandMom makes the dough for the noodles, Gee-eum makes a dough family to put in the soup. 

Later, on Family Sports Day, a day Gee-eum has been excitedly looking forward to, she's disappointed that her mom won't be able to participate with her. To comfort her, GrandMom tells Gee-eum about good she has always been at running, tug of war and doing a cheer dance. But when GrandMom and granddaughter arrive at the field, Gee-eum is excited, sure that they will win all the competitions with such a strong, athletic grandmother.

 But is seem's that GrandMom isn't as spry as she used to be and when they lose all the competitions, Gee-eum becomes very mad at her Halmonie. Can GrandMom jolly Gee-uem into a better mood with a fresh curry bun that will be their delicious secret? 

I love how the focus of My GrandMom is only focused on the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter. In fact, Gee-eum's parents never even make an appearance. Instead, we see the two Gee-eum and GrandMom doing all kinds of things that ultimately lead to a strong bond between the two of them. I particularly liked the way readers can see how this strong intergenerational bond develops over the course of the book 

The illustrations, done with a subtly colored palette using colored pencils and paint, totally enhance and compliment the story and the have a certain humor to them even when there is unhappiness or when Gee-eun is angry or crying. 

My GrandMom will be a welcomed story for any kids living in an intergenerational home, as Gee-eun does, or whose grandparents are just an important part of their life, as many of my young readers do. I suspect this is a book that will be read in my class again and again. 

"A touching tale that exudes love and warmth." - Kirkus Reviews 

"A touching celebration of grandparent-and-grandchild connection that will warm many hearts." - Booklist

Meet the Author:
Gee-eun Lee is an award-winning Korean author/illustrator. She recently won the prestigious BolognaRagazzi Award in the comics category for her book, The Story of How the Korean Shaved Ice Dessert Was Born, and is also a top winner of the Korean Young Illustrator Award. She studied design and illustration in Korea and the UK. Her first picture book, Paper Dad, was made into a children’s musical in Korea. My GrandMom is the second book she both wrote and illustrated and is based on her own grandmother. Instagram: @studio_geeeun 

Meet the Illustrator:
Sophie Bowman is a PhD student at the University of Toronto, studying Korean literature. She was awarded the ICF Literature Translation Fellowship at Ewha Womans University. In 2015, she won the Korea Times Modern Korean Literature Translation Award grand prize for poetry with her translations of Jin Eun-young and co-translated Kim Bo-Young’s I’m Waiting for You and Other Stories. She recently translated the picture book Magic Candies by Heena Baek, which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Follow her on Twitter @SophieOrbital.

Publisher tags;
Twitter: @AmazonPub

Thank you, Barbara Fisch at BlueSlipMedia

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