Picture Book Around the World: Reading Through Korea I’m working hard on my Picture Book Around the World sequel to Picture Book Preschool, my preschool read aloud curriculum for homeschooling your preschooler or kindergartner. This week at Semicolon, we’re going to be visiting Korea through the medium of a treasure trove of picture books featuring that country and its children.
The setting is Puchon, South Korea, 1976. Yangsook is day-dreaming about a peach garden in heaven–just like the calendar picture of children playing in a peach orchard that is posted above her desk. Puchon is famous for growing beautiful, juicy peaches that are sold all over Korea.
The voices of her grandma and her little brother come intruding into Yangsook’s daydream, telling her to come and look at the rain which has turned to hail. But it’s not hail—it’s raining peaches!
There were a couple of oddities in this story, which is actually based on a childhood memory of the author. First of all, I’ve never heard of peaches raining down from the sky, but I’m willing to suspend disbelief. But the other odd scene is when the the townsfolk bring the peaches back to the farmers’ orchards and tie them to the trees with yarn. Why? To console the farmers for the loss of most of their peach crop. I suppose it made a good visual image to tie the peaches to the trees, but it seems rather superfluous in practical terms.
Anyway, I doubt children will have the same questions that I did. Instead, they will most likely enjoy this quiet little story of a girl growing up in South Korea and an memorable episode in her childhood. The watercolor illustrations, which were done by the author, complement the story and its mood quite well.