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Dear Juno

Dear Juno

5.0 1
by Soyung Pak, Susan Kathleen Hartung (Illustrator)

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Although Juno, a Korean American boy, cannot read the letter he receives from his grandmother in Seoul, he understands what it means from the photograph and dried flower that are enclosed and decides to send a similar letter back to her.


Although Juno, a Korean American boy, cannot read the letter he receives from his grandmother in Seoul, he understands what it means from the photograph and dried flower that are enclosed and decides to send a similar letter back to her.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This debut book from a talented pair tells a simple but moving story about communicating across distances that are not just geographical but linguistic. Juno can't read a letter sent by his Korean grandmother, but he deduces what she is trying to say from her enclosures: a photo of a cat and a dried flower. He sends her a reply: instead of writing in English, he mails her the biggest leaf from the "swinging tree" in his yard and some drawings, including one of him watching an airplane and hoping his grandmother will come to visit. When Juno receives his grandmother's return letter, he finds a box of colored pencils to encourage more "letters" and a toy airplane that lets him know she will soon arrive. Pak's story is economically told and sensitively focused through Juno's eyes. The tight construction is beautifully complemented by Hartung's blotted oil paint glazes in compositions that are both well designed and touching. Children not yet ready to read on their own (and their far-off grandparents) will find this book especially useful. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-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 Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Picture Puffins
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.75(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Soyung Pak was born in Seoul, South Korea, but spent her childhood in the suburbs of southern New Jersey. Dear Juno is Soyung's first book, which won her an Ezra Jack Keats Award award. She holds a B.F.A. from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, Susan Kathleen Hartung is the acclaimed illustrator of the award-winning Dear Juno.

One Dark Night is Susan’s much anticipated second book with Viking. “I was hooked immediately by this wonderfully told story,” she said. “When I was a kid I used to lie in bed at night and count between the flash and boom to see how close a thunderstorm was. I still do sometimes.” When asked about her inspiration for the illustrations, Susan responded, “Whenever there was a late night storm, I would get up and wander about the house without turning on any lights. I would watch the way the lightening played around the room, or I would just stare out the window and watch it flash in the clouds and make the rain drops shimmer.”

In the fall of 1999, after having lived in Brooklyn, New York, for fourteen years, Susan made the move back to her home state of Michigan, where by chance, she moved to the town of Brooklyn. When not in her studio, Susan can be found renovating her 140-year-old farmhouse, or spending time with family and friends in her nearby hometown of Ann Arbor. Susan lives with her two dogs, Bongo and Audie, and her cat, Gomez.

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Dear Juno (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As the illustrator of Dear Juno, it is my pleasure to share with you the following list of awards and accolades this charming story has received. Thank you all for embracing this wonderful book!................... ¿ Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award 2000 ¿ Children¿s Literature Choice Award 2000 ¿ Paterson Prize for Books for Young People 2000 ¿ The Society of Illustrators `The Original Art¿ Exhibition 1999 ¿ National Council of Teachers of English Notable Children¿s Book ¿ A Junior Library Guild selection ¿ A Nest Literary Classics Selection ¿ Selected for the AfterSchool KidzLit program