Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dear Juno

The following is a book review on "Dear Juno" by Soyung Pak. This book will be read in every classroom this week. Read the review and then ask your child some questions about the book. See if they can recall any of the events or characters in the story.

This warm, simple, yet richly woven story informs readers that even in this electronic age there is nothing like mail received from afar to tie together family and friends. Juno receives a letter that he knows by the envelope and stamp is from his grandmother just outside Seoul. He has to wait for his parents to read it to him, since it is in Korean, but from his grandmother's other enclosures-a photograph and a pressed flower-he has already figured out that she has a new cat and red-and-yellow flowers in her garden. He sends her a picture letter back and in turn is treated to a big envelope with items he can "read" and, perhaps most importantly, colored pencils, which means she expects more picture "letters" from him. The handsome layout, featuring ample white space and illustrations that cover anywhere from one page to an entire spread, perfectly suit the gentle, understated tone of the text. The realistic pictures, created by using oil-paint glazes on sealed paper, have a delightfully cozy feeling, making this a good choice for snuggling up and reading one-on-one.
Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA