The way this book is illustrated is very unique and very powerful. The best way I can describe it — as I would turn the page and see the picture it would give me a particular feeling that completely influenced the way I would read the text. I realize that this is what an illustration is supposed to do, but so far I haven’t felt it as dramatically as I did when I read this book. The illustrations set the tone and directed me as to how I should read the book. I will be reading more books illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher pronto. I wonder if it is just this book or if they’re always like this? Either way, their work for this book is very impressive.
The story is equally as impressive. It is about a young girl, Soo Min, who is adopted and moves from Korea to the US. She finds the transition (understandably) difficult, but finds solace in her new parents’ cat. One day the cat goes outside and Soo Min is very upset. The cat comes back at the end of the day and she is relieved. This event also inspires her to say her first word in English: “home.”
While this book talks about adoption, it is really a story about a person finding comfort in a difficult situation and finding a way to adjust and adapt to a major life change.
Admittedly, I loved this book. My son thought it was okay. He didn’t protest or seem uninterested, but didn’t want to read it again and again. Considering his interest in cats, I was a little surprised that he didn’t want to read it again. I think we’ll try and read this book again later. I think as he gets older he’ll like this book more. I asked him if he liked this book and he said he did. I’ll see if he wants to read this book again tomorrow.
To digress a bit:
I often wonder if how I introduce new books to my son is harmful, helpful, or really makes no difference. We have an awesome library system. We’re not technically part of the library system so I have to pay $80 a year to be able to check out materials at this library, but I think it is worth it. Actually, we pay $160 a year because both my husband and I both have a library card. I’ve looked at other libraries in the area and they’re okay, but when I compare catalogs between the libraries — I felt that it was worth the $160/year to be able to have access to their books. We go to the library two to three times a week and usually have about 150 picture books at home at any given time. We can place holds on up to 24 books and I make sure that our queues are always full. So, I can’t say we’re not taking full advantage of the library system here.
Anyway, we go to the library two to three times a week and I return and check out about 30 books at a time. We then bring the books home, curl up on the couch, and start going through the new books. As soon as I finish one book, my son will ask me to either read that book to him again or to read another book to him. We go through the entire bag and then the following days we reread the books that he chooses. Sometimes if I really liked a book, I’ll throw it into the reading pile. We’ll read the same books for a few days and then go back to the library. The books vary in difficulty from extremely simple to very complex. We’re constantly reading new books and old books from the library — and then there are the books that we own. Sometimes I wonder if I’m introducing too much too soon and if I should read fewer books to him but repeat those books more often, but he seems pretty happy and seems to really enjoy reading time. For now, I’m going to follow his lead and if he seems to be losing interest or something changes, I’ll scale back a bit.
Where Obtained: Library.
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