Customer Reviews for

The Color of Earth

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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  • Posted August 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book

    The Color of Earth is the first in a trilogy of graphic novels about a young girl named Ehwa and her widowed mother who owns a tavern in a small Korean village. The story takes place in a time before that country was geographically split by war.

    Author Kim Dong Hwa creates beautiful images that work with the narrative to tell this story of two generations of women. While the story may seem simple as it follows Ehwa from young girl to young adult, it is filled with rich symbolism that you will want to savor as you read. Flowers symbolize many things in the story, and the characters are often associating flowers with someone they love. Also, you get the sense that young Ehwa is beginning to bloom just as the flowers do.

    As Ehwa grows, she is confused by the changes in her body, and the information she gets from friends about those changes only confuses her more. Mother and daughter don't talk about the changes before they occur, but Ehwa does turn to her mother to answer the questions she has. The narrative provides an interesting way to bring up topics like boys having wet dreams and girls starting their periods. The words are simple, but combined with the images they are powerful. While this book is targeted to a young adult audience and these concepts won't be new to most readers, it can be a jumping off point for further discussion.

    I recommend The Color of Earth for mother-daughter book clubs with girls who are 13 or older. In addition to talking about maturing bodies, other points to discuss include first love, Buddhist monks, and life in a small village.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Well-grounded and down to earth

    The artwork is amazing! The detail just blows my mind away - the patterns on clothing, the blossoms and leaves on the trees, the gorgeous landscapes - let's just say that I would kill to have such talent and vision!

    And who can resist a story about young love in all its innocent glory? Ehwa experiences her first crush with a young monk and, when she is rebuffed (for monks should not reciprocate such feelings, though he definitely felt attracted to her), then her second and more secret crush with a young scholar from a wealthy family. I could appreciate Ehwa's sense of confusion, longing, and shyness about her feelings towards these two boys.

    There is also a side story about long-distance love between her mother and a traveling artist that I also appreciated, although I do not think this relationship was fully developed. It almost seemed like her mother's infatuation with the artist grew overnight for no clear reason, and when he comes back into town, I am not too clear on the depth of their relationship beyond the physical.

    The Color Of Earth makes a wonderful coming-of-age story that illustrates a wonderful relationship between a mother and daughter. It may not be 100% perfect where Ehwa will share her secret crushes with her mother, but Ehwa cares deeply for her mother and takes great offense when she overhears the other villagers gossip behind her mother's back. I am definitely anxious for June when The Color Of Water comes out to see how Ehwa and her mother grow closer together and with their significant others.

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