Review: Halmoni’s Day

Halmoni

Having arrived from Korea, Jennifer’s grandmother, Halmoni, is just in time for the Grandparents’ Day celebration at school and, despite not knowing the language or customs, attends proudly at the side of her granddaughter.

Jennifer’s grandmother has arrived from Korea just in time for Grandparents’ Day at school, and Jennifer isn’t sure about having Halmoni speak in front of her class. Halmoni doesn’t speak English and she wears funny clothes – how will the other kids react? When Grandparents’ Day finally arrives, with the help of Jennifer’s mother, Halmoni shares a beautiful, heartbreaking story about her own father, whose best qualities she sees in Jennifer.

Halmoni1

Halmoni’s Day is a subtle, heartwarming story that celebrates the loving bonds between the generations that even time and distance can’t diminish. The story is based on the author’s own childhood experience building a relationship with her Korean grandmother who spoke little English.

Robert Hunt’s illustrations are absolutely incredible – there’s a scene in which Halmoni is moved to tears, and Hunt captures her emotions with so much realism and sensitivity that you feel as if you’re right there with her. The stunning artwork complements the gentle text beautifully, and adds so much heart to this lovely picture book.

This is an older title, and a longer one, but it’s still absolutely worth checking out, especially if you work in a diverse community, as Jennifer and Halmoni’s story is one that many children will be able to connect with.

Halmoni’s Day

Hardcover, 32 pages
August 1, 2000 : Dial Books
Source: Library