The Sun Girl and the Moon Boy: A Korean Folktale

Yangsook Choi, Author Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers $17 (32p) ISBN 978-0-679-88386-9
This absorbing Korean folktale--with shades of Little Red Riding Hood--marks Choi's (Nim and the War Effort) debut as an author; here a tiger is the foe and two siblings the targeted prey. Long ago, ""before the sun and moon had been created,"" a mother went to the market, leaving her son and daughter at home with this warning: "" `Do not open the door to anyone but me.' "" On her way home, the mother is swallowed by a tiger, who dons her clothes and tricks the pair into letting him in. As soon as the beast enters, the two realize their mistake. After a suspenseful chase, when no escape seems possible, the children are rescued from the tiger, lifted into the sky where their mother has turned into stars, and where the boy transforms into the moon and the girl into the sun so that ""there will always be enough light for people to stay safe from danger."" Although the resolution may leave youngsters with questions, the reassuring reunion of mother and children will likely quell any fears. The elegant and empathetic oil paintings are reflective of the story's fanciful nature: in one dramatic spread, the giant cat peers over the side of a round well while the children, seen in a reflection (seated on a tree limb), seem to be perched on the opposite side. Choi's seamless strokes, dramatic perspectives and almost eerily lighted illustrations lend magic to this enigmatic, satisfying tale. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-679-98386-6
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