WOW Dozen: Contemporary Korean American Books

By HeeYoung Kim, West Texas A&M University

Literature is a cultural artifact. Contemporary literature serves as a valuable mirror, capturing our ever-changing beliefs and values. An author’s unique perspective, shaped by their life experiences, beliefs, and cultural backgrounds, permeate their work with distinct viewpoints, opinions, convictions, and biases. Understanding this perspective allows us to uncover hidden motivations and intentions within their words. Collectively exploring books from multiple contemporary authors helps us better comprehend current culture. In this month’s WOW Dozen, I present a collection of children’s books, encompassing picturebooks and young adult novels, that have been published this year by Korean Americans. Through these writers’ lenses, readers can gain insights into diverse ways of life by contemplating the values and dreams of Korean Americans. Continue reading

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Corner

A crow stands on a ladder in the corner of a concrete room, holding chalk.Corner is a whimsical, almost wordless picture book by Korean author and illustrator, ZO-O.

The story is about a crow who makes a cramped corner into a space for living and loving – a home. The crow starts a new life in an empty corner. After a while, the crow begins to gather objects: a bed, a bookshelf, a rug. A shelf appears with books and a lamp to read by. Lastly, the crow brings a small plant to complete the corner. The plant flourishes with the crow’s loving care. Continue reading

WOW Dozen: Korean Books Translated Into English

By HeeYoung Kim, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas

Welcome abroad! This month’s WOW dozen takes readers on a journey to Korea. Each picturebook and novel in this column were originally published in Korea and later translated into English. These titles are written by Korean authors who speak Korean and live in Korea. Rudine Sims Bishop’s metaphor of mirrors and windows for multicultural children’s literature is an an invaluable tenet when reading global children’s literature too. Each book on this list introduces readers to the Korean culture as well as themes around imagination, love, loss and hope. Continue reading