cover image Grandpa Across the Ocean

Grandpa Across the Ocean

Hyewon Yum. Abrams, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4225-5

A Korean American child with short black hair and dot eyes struggles to adjust to South Korea when visiting Grandpa, a bespectacled elderly man. Different customs (“When I say ‘Hi,’/ Grandpa bows”), language barriers (“I can’t quite understand what he says,/ and he can’t hear me well”), and unfamiliar food (“Grandpa eats things I don’t want to eat”) unmoor the child, but an accident soon sets the duo on a path toward understanding (“But with Grandpa, I don’t need to say the word for what I want most./ He already knows”). Charming colored-pencil illustrations are punctuated with a few basic Korean words as the narrator and Grandpa embark on market and beach excursions, and grow closer. Told in a pitch-perfect kid voice with a satisfying narrative arc, Yum’s sweetly comedic picture book will resonate with any reader who has experienced diasporic—or generational—tension with an older relative. Ages 4–8.[em] (Apr.) [/em]