cover image Lady Hahn and Her Seven Friends

Lady Hahn and Her Seven Friends

Yumi Heo. Holt/Ottaviano, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-4127-9

The question “Which is the greatest of all?” is oft-pondered in folklore, and it takes center stage in this retelling of a Korean tale. Seamstress Lady Hahn and her special sewing tools—aka her seven friends—work in concert to craft fine shirts and skirts. But who among the eight is most essential to the operation? Is it Mrs. Ruler, who measures the silk? Old Lady Thimble, who takes care of Lady Hahn’s thumb? The friends make their cases for why they are most important (“Ho, ho, ho! Poor Needle,” boasts Young Bride Red Thread. “Without my thread you cannot accomplish anything”), breaking up the team and throwing Lady Hahn’s business into disarray. But harmony is soon restored, with Lady Hahn gaining a new appreciation for her friends. Heo’s (Polka Dot Penguin Pottery) cheerfully hued oil-and-pencil compositions possess the careful detail of an expertly stitched garment, with tiny shapes and patterns arranged just so. Her humorous personifications of the sewing implements amplify the playful fantasy elements of the story and the feisty personalities of its protagonists. Ages 4–7. (Apr.)