Goyangi Means Catby Christine McDonnell, Steve Johnson, Lou Fancher
When Soo Min comes from Korea to live with her new American family, she struggles to learn English and adjust to unfamiliar surroundings. She finds great comfort in the family's cat, Goyangi - that is, until he runs away. After searching the streets with her mother, Soo Min discovers her beloved pet has returned to the house, and speaks her first English/i>… See more details below
When Soo Min comes from Korea to live with her new American family, she struggles to learn English and adjust to unfamiliar surroundings. She finds great comfort in the family's cat, Goyangi - that is, until he runs away. After searching the streets with her mother, Soo Min discovers her beloved pet has returned to the house, and speaks her first English word - "Goyangi home." This gentle story reveals that home is truly where the heart is.
This beautifully illustrated, gentle adoption story stands out from most other treatments of the topic by honestly and reassuringly addressing the loss—of a birth family, a birth culture—inherent in adoption as well as the joy a new family experiences.
Here, Soo Min, a young Korean girl, is adopted by an American couple. Everything seems strange and new: She doesn't speak any English; her adoptive parents know little Korean. She finds comfort with Goyangi ("cat"), who doesn't need language to communicate, whose fur she strokes when afraid and who "licked her hand with his towelly tongue" when she is homesick for Korea. Soft-focus collage-and-paint illustrations show the family members getting to know one another: at the playground, in the library, playing soccer and just spending time at home together. Korean words in hanja (characters) incorporated into the pictures' backgrounds and the presence of Korean words in the Western alphabet interspersed throughout the text make this an excellent choice to share with children like Soo Min; seeing the words in both languages comforts as well as educates. Soo Min's age isn't specified; she looks about 2 or 3, which is older than most Korean children adopted in the United States, but that doesn't take away from the main idea.
A sensitive portrayal of international adoption, authentically and realistically done. (Picture book. 4-7)
Meet the Author
Steve Johnson lives in Minneapolis, MN.
Lou Fancher lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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