YANGSOOK CHOI

Author and Illustrator; Multicultural Children's Literature

           Books Written & Illustrated

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                                  Order at Amazon

The Name Jar
Knopf, 2001     ISBN 0-375-80613-X

Having just arrived from Korea with her family, Unhei is anxious about making friends and worried that no one will be able to pronounce her name, so she decides to pick a new name. But when a large glass jar filled with names appears on her desk, Unhei happily discovers that her classmates want to help. Will she be Daisy, Madison, or ??? And what will she do with her real name?

“Unhei's reflection and inner strength are noteworthy; cultural details freshen the story." - The New York Times
“Beautifully written and illustrated.” - Philadelphia Times
“Interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation.” - Kirkus Reviews


A Math Reads Book from Marilyn Burns
A California Young Reader Medal nominee
A Best of the Best by the Chicago Public Library
An IRA Teachers' Choice
PBS Reading Rainbow Selection
An ABA Kids' Pick of the List


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Behind the Mask
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2006     ISBN 0-374-30522-6

Halloween is coming. "What are you going to be?" the children ask one another. Kimin says he will be his grandfather. "Going as an old man is not very scary," they tease. What the children don't know is that Kimin's grandfather was a Korean mask dancer. And Kimin doesn't know that the mask holds a secret for him.

"'Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat' meets Asian folk drama." - The New York Times
"Korean theater traditions meet American Halloween customs in Choi's satisfying tale." - Publishers Weekly
"A unique look at Halloween." - Kirkus Reviews
"An interesting fusion of cultures in a story appealing to children." - Booklist


A NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book
A Best Children's Books of the Year by Bank Street College


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New Cat
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1999     ISBN-10: 1541313372   ISBN-13: 978-1541313378

New Cat loves everything about living in Mr. Kim's tofu factory, except for one thing: she has seen a mouse in the production room, where Mr. Kim doesn't allow her to go. She knows that one of her jobs is to chase mice, but how can she do this if she can't go where they are? This charming picture book tells the story of the night that New Cat follows her instincts rather than Mr. Kim's wishes and gets more than she bargained for.

“Unique and refreshing.” - Kirkus Reviews
"Choi offers several images that will tickle youngsters." - Publishers Weekly
“Beautifully suited to reading aloud.” - School Library Journal


A Best of the Best by the Chicago Public Library


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Peach Heaven
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2005     ISBN 0-374-35761-7

The white peaches grown in Puchon are the best in all South Korea, and a rare treat for a little girl who lives in the town. She dreams of a peach orchard where she can play and eat as much of the delicious fruit as she wishes. Then one day, after weeks of heavy downpours, the sky begins to rain peaches. Yangsook finds herself in peach heaven - until she remembers the farmers who have lost their harvest, and decides she must help them.

"Appealing simplicity." - Booklist
"One tasty bite." - Kirkus Reviews
"Deftly told and gracefully illustrated, Choi's vibrant and appealing childhood recollection is a memorable tale of a young person making a difference." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Timeless feel of a classic tale." - Publishers Weekely

CCBC Choices
The Best Children's Books of the Year 2006 by CBC


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              Books Illustrated

The Sun Girl and the Moon Boy
Knopf, 1997     ISBN 0-679-88386-X

Reminiscent of the familiar story of Little Red Riding Hood, The Sun Girl and the Moon Boy tells how an ordinary boy and girl use their extraordinary wits, and a measure of good luck, to escape from a hungry tiger. Then, with the help of their mother's everlasting love, they go on to bring the first rays of sunlight and moonlight to the world.

“Enigmatic and satisfying.” - Publishers Weekly
“Rich, glowing, dramatic illustrations.” – School Library Journal

 

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Good-bye, 382 Shin Dang Dong
National Geographic, 2002     ISBN 0-7922-7985-9

Jangmi is so sad. She's moving-leaving Korea to go to America. She has to say good-bye to her house at 382 Shin Dang Dong and to everything familiar-her room, the willow tree in the courtyard, the marketplace, and worst of all, her best friend, Kisuni.

"Choi's oil paintings, with their subdued, saturated colors and perspectives, create an effective backdrop for this resonant tale." - Publishers Weekly


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                                Order at Amazon

Landed
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2006     ISBN 0374343144

Sun is ready to leave his village in China for America, the place known as Gum Saan, Gold Mountain. His father warns him, though, that passage will not be easy. Because of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, Sun is detained at Angel Island, where he must pass a difficult test before he can land.
Based on a true story, Landed vividly recounts an amazing chapter in Chinese American history.

"A detailed, often moving story." - Publishers Weekly
"Poignant." - *Starred Review* Booklist
"This is a significant book." - School Library Journal


Skipping Stones award
A NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book
A Cooperate Children's Book Center Choices


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This Next New Year
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2000     ISBN 0-374-35503-7

Just like the New Year that begins on January 1, the Chinese New Year is a time for hope, a fresh start, and a second chance. In spare, lyrical verse, a boy is determined to face the next year with optimism and courage.

“Poetic language with unexpected, fanciful touches." - Horn Book

An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award
A Nick Jr. Best Holiday Book

Also available: Chinese-English Bilingual Edition, Korean-English Bilingual Edition

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Gai See
Abrams Books, 2007     ISBN 0-810-99337-6 7

What in the world could you possibly see at an old gai see, just you and me on a warm and easy, slightly breezy springtime Saturday morning? From noodles in the spring to dragon fruit in the summer, from chocolate coins in the fall to firecrackers for Chinese New Year in the winter, you never know what you might find during a magical stroll through Chinatown street market.

"Clear, bright illustrations portray the bustle and variety of the marketplace during each season." - Booklis

A Cooperative Children's Books Center children's Choices


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Rice Is Life
Henry Holt, 2000     ISBN 0-8050-5719-6

It is morning in Bali and farmers head out to the sawah to plant seeds. While they work, eels slip through the mud around their feet, and dragonflies flutter overhead. Rains come and the rice stalks grow steadily. Mice crawl over the stems, munching as they go. As the sun sets each night, bats dart and swoop. In Bali, everyone knows that rice is life.

“Here's an account of how the rice is grown and harvested by hand in the lush wet fields of Indonesia.” - The New York Times
“A highly successful, original format.” - Parents’ Choice

“A delight that will fascinate younger readers.” - Booklist

A Parents’ Choice Silver Honor
A Junior Library Guild Selection


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Nim and the War Effort
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1997     ISBN 0-374-35523-1

In the spring of 1943, Nim's school had a paper drive. The person who brought in the most newspapers would win the contest, and Garland Stephenson, the biggest kid in school, wanted to win. So did Nim. But where would she ever find enough newspapers?

"Choi's affecting illustrations lend a somber dignity to this touching story." - The New York Times
“Thought- provoking insights.” - Publishers Weekly

"A fine addition." - School Library Journal

A New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year
An ALA Notable Book
An IRA’s Children’s Book Award
A California Young Reader Medal Nominee
A NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book


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                              Order at Amazon

Earthquake
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2001     ISBN 0-374-39964-6

In 1906, San Francisco was shaken by a powerful earthquake. Buildings fell, fires flared, and the city burned for several days. This is the stirring story of one Chinese American family who had to leave their home in Chinatown on that early morning to join hundreds of other refugees making their way to safety.

"Choi's paintings propel the tale with expressive faces, period dress and views of a blossoming city ravaged by a natural disaster." - Publishers Weekly
“A good way to introduce the youngest of readers to a calamitous event.” - Kirkus Reviews
“Beautifully painted imagery... It is reassuring for children to understand that though natural disasters occur, cities and families are rebuilt and reborn.” - Pacific Reader

A NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book