A child spends days with her grandmother while her parents work in this warm and affectionate story by award-winning Korean author Gee-eun Lee, translated by Sophie Bowman.
My GrandMom, by Gee-eun Lee / Translated by Sophie Bowman,
(Nov. 2022, Amazon Crossing Kids), $17.99, ISBN: 9781662508257
Inspired by the author’s memories of spending time with her own Halmoni – the name she called her grandmother – My GrandMother begins with a child begging her mother not to go to work; Grandma quickly comes to the rescue by deflecting little Gee-eun. Together, the two spend a day making noodles, telling stories, and running in a Family Sports Day race before heading home to make dinner for the family to enjoy together. The warmth of the narrative wraps around readers like a hug from a beloved grandparent, with Halmoni’s loving memories running through the story; from the “teeny tiny house that’s warm and cozy” in her belly, where Gee-eun’s mom used to live, to her memories of dancing and racing as a child. There are wonderful observations from a child’s point of view, too, like the moment when Gee-eun and Halmoni enjoy a snack together before dinner: “No matter how you may be feeling, curry buns are always delicious, especially when shared with Grandma”. Lee has shared a piece of her life with us and enriches us for it; the loving relationship between grandmother and grandchild shines through in all its wonder and devotion. A wonderful story with colored pencil and paint illustration that has the look and feel of a child’s recollections of a day well spent. An excellent first purchase.
“A touching celebration of grandparent-and-grandchild connection that will warm many hearts.” ―Booklist
Gee-eun Lee is an award-winning Korean author/illustrator. She recently won the prestigious BolognaRagazzi Award in the comics category for her book, The Story of How the Korean Shaved Ice Dessert Was Born, and is also a top winner of the Korean Young Illustrator Award. She studied design and illustration in Korea and the UK. Her first picture book, Paper Dad, was made into a children’s musical in Korea. My GrandMom is the second book she both wrote and illustrated and is based on her own grandmother.
Sophie Bowman is a PhD student at the University of Toronto, studying Korean literature. She was awarded the ICF Literature Translation Fellowship at Ewha Womans University. In 2015, she won the Korea Times Modern Korean Literature Translation Award grand prize for poetry with her translations of Jin Eun-young and co-translated Kim Bo-Young’s I’m Waiting for You and Other Stories. She recently translated the picture book Magic Candies by Heena Baek, which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Follow her on Twitter @SophieOrbital.