Today’s highlighted book on Asian literature is THE ROYAL BEE by Frances Park and Ginger Park. This is an elegant picture book about a boy named Song-ho from Korea who desperately wanted to go to school. But he wasn’t from the wealthy families, the yangban, but instead a poor sangmin boy. So he wasn’t allowed to attend.
Yet this didn’t stop him. He sat outside of the school in the freezing cold, his ear pressed against the rice paper door just to listen to the master. This determination changed his life forever.
The illustrations by Christopher Zhong-Yuan Zhang cast a portrait of a beautiful age in Korea. It’s an excellent way to see the dress, culture and landscape of Korea.
What I love about this book: How this story showed the courage of Song-ho to stand up for who he was as well as his determination to never give up despite the obstacles faced before him.
What makes this book unique: I especially love how this is written by two sisters and it’s based on their own grandfather’s experience. How inspiring!
Why should you read it? It’s a story set in Korea. (Okay so I’m a little bias there). The values and morals makes this not only an excellent read aloud but inspirational as well.
Favorite lines: “shadow of the master”, “The Sodang School, surrounded by golden rain trees”, “when the moon shines into the Great Hall”
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