cover image Grandpa’s Scroll

Grandpa’s Scroll

Ginger and Frances Park, illus. by Kim Dong Hoon. Albert Whitman, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-3020-7

A grandfather and granddaughter forge a long-distance friendship via handwritten letters in this multi-setting, multigenerational tale. Lily and Grandpa are “the best of pals” thanks to Mom, who “reads his letters to me” and “rewrites my letters to him in Korean characters.” The two correspondents anticipate the summer ahead, when Grandpa will travel from his thatched-roof hanok overlooking rice fields in Korea to visit Lily at her family’s house in Washington, D.C., carrying a special scroll that he’s been painting for her. He writes, “My wish is that we’ll finish it together.” Upon abruptly relayed news of his unexpected death, however, “instead of picking up Grandpa at the airport, we board a plane to Korea,” where sitting at Grandpa’s window helps Lily understand how to finish the scroll in his memory. In conversational first-person text, the Park sisters turn a sad event into a thoughtful opportunity to deepen connections, while Hoon’s fluid natural landscapes and images of scroll paintings bring a delicacy that balances straightforwardly rendered domestic scenes. Ages 4–8. (May)