This is the first book we read this week. The story is about a Korean family that emigrates to the United States. It is a well rendered picture book about Yoon, the daughter of the family, who is having adjustment issues in her new home country.
Yoon, in the beginning, does not find much similarity between United States and Korea. This is particularly true for her school life. She loves to write her name in Korean, like all Korean names her name too has a meaning. Her name Yoon means ‘shining wisdom’. Despite her father’s assurances that her name still holds the same meaning , even when written in English, she has her doubts. She also finds her name written in English just a series of sticks and circles, whereas in Korean, “the Symbols dance together”. Everyday at school she learns a new English word and makes that her new name. So one day she is “Cat’ , another day she is ” Bird” and yet another day its “Cupcake”! This girl sure has wild imagination.
She quickly recognizes concern and friendship offered by the patient teacher and classmates. She starts liking her school and feels United States can be her home like Korea.
And she is back to calling herself “Yoon” again as it still means “Shining Wisdom”.
This book is good for a kid reading at K-2 level, but my kids enjoyed it too. The text is easy to understand , the illustrations are beautiful, and the message is clear. Like my older said ” Being different is not something bad, one should embrace it and be proud of it.”
Every year our family of 4 travels to India to meet our extended family and we spend about a month there. So, my elementary school going boys have been exposed to 2 different cultures extensively. We have also travelled to a few more countries and they have noticed, talked about and compared the difference in food, homes, appearances and lifestyles. But there is so much more to explore, so much more to learn in this diverse world!
One of the many boons of internet and access to books/local libraries is that we can learn about different countries and its culture sitting at home. And this is exactly what we plan to do in the coming weeks.
My last post has the timeline that I plan to follow.
Here are a few sites/links that I have searched that will help in making a start to this learning process.