Maya and the Turtle: A Korean Fairy Tale

Maya and the Turtle: A Korean Fairy Tale

by John C. Stickler, Soma Han
     
 

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**WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL 2013-2014 MORNING CALM MEDAL**

This multicultural children's book presents a heartwarming Korean fairy tale about a little girl and a fortunate encounter.

Poverty is all Maya has ever known, but she doesn't allow it to stop her from caring for her father, and others, as best she can. Kind and gentle, she is a lovely

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Overview

**WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL 2013-2014 MORNING CALM MEDAL**

This multicultural children's book presents a heartwarming Korean fairy tale about a little girl and a fortunate encounter.

Poverty is all Maya has ever known, but she doesn't allow it to stop her from caring for her father, and others, as best she can. Kind and gentle, she is a lovely young girl who always puts others first. One day, she finds a little turtle and takes him home, raising and loving him, never knowing that he will play an instrumental part in her destiny.

Similar to The Korean Cinderella, Maya and the Turtle, is an original Korean fairy tale by authors John Stickler and Soma Han that teaches children that the road to greatness lies in selflessness and that the loving kindness of a pure heart can awaken great love and power in another. Beautifully illustrated by Han, this book contains fascinating bits of information about Korean culture and is a poignant tale about the rewards of kindness, patience and courage.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The husband-and-wife team of Stickler and Han retells a fairy tale from Han’s childhood, in which a young woman’s kindness and bravery are rewarded handsomely. The story has some dark moments—Maya’s mother dies early on, her father later falls ill, and a village sacrifices people to combat a monster caterpillar—but ends happily for Maya, who, in true fairy tale tradition, ends up marrying a prince. Han’s rough, stylized paintings pair traditional Korean costumes and settings with quirky details (the word “love” is spelled out in leaves near Maya in one scene), while footnotes offer information about Korean culture. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"The book has fun lessons about Korean culture on the pages such as terminology and more explanation on traditions and stories within the culture. This is a great book to continue your child's love of fairy tales as they learn from another culture." —Parenting Healthy

"This delightful tale features a generous heroine with a glorious destiny that she has yet to fulfill. When her father falls ill, Maya is determined to cure him. With the help of her lucky turtle friend, she faces the evil centipede that haunts a neighboring village to get the supplies she needs to help her father. Engaging illustrations and facts about Korean culture sprinkled throughout make the book worthwhile." —Skipping Stones

"An original folk tale set in Korea tells the story of a selfless young maiden who is sacrificed to the monster in the neighboring village. [...] The core of the story (a girl sacrifices herself to aid her ailing father) is both strong from a plot point and a significant theme in Korean tales..." —Kirkus Reviews

"In between 'Long, long ago... and ...happily ever after,' is a story passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter, as co-author and illustrator Soma Han writes in her "Author's Note." That in itself is a lovely tale indeed. [...] The husband-and-wife team create their second title together, drawing on Han's Korean heritage, and Stickler's 13 years of Korean residency. To the couple's credit, their version gets a 21st-century update: almost every page has a contextual note explaining something cultural, historical, or just downright tongue-in-cheek; and the multi-culti angle gets celebrated with a strikingly detailed, full spread—the royal couple is indeed flanked by "people from many lands," many colors, many cultures and backgrounds. Hope springs eternal for world peace." —BookDragon.com

"The husband-and-wife team of Stickler and Han retells a fairy tale from Han's childhood, in which a young woman's kindness and bravery are rewarded handsomely." —Publishers Weekly

"I liked this book because I like turtles. I liked that the Turtle saved Maya after she saved it. I thought the people were pretty and had pretty clothes and I thought the Turtle was fun to look at." —Rachel, age 6, City Book Review

"'Maya and the Turtle' is a beautifully illustrated and poignant tale about the rewards of kindness, patience and encouragement, and a lesson in how true glory must be earned. Maya's selflessness and generosity perfectly illustrate the deceptively simple moral of this book—when a heart is pure and kind and loving, surprising and wonderful things can happen. Even when hope seems lost." —Adoption Today

"It explores the idea of filial piety and the gorgeous illustrations with the text teach us a great deal about Korean life. It is a beautiful tale that we have read many times in our home. It inspires children to care for others and respect their environment and living beings. Maya is rewarded for her goodness. This tale has been passed on for generations and we are all lucky to share in the magic and beauty of Maya and the Turtle." —Product Mommy

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—A folktale about self-sacrifice and love and how it is rewarded. Maya is foretold her destiny by her dying mother, who proclaims, "You will be a princess." But Maya grows up contentedly poor, loving, and humble. One day she finds a baby turtle and raises it as her pet as turtles are considered lucky in her culture. Her simple, happy life changes dramatically when her father falls ill and Maya needs money for his medicine. She has heard that a neighboring village will pay her to place herself up for sacrifice to a monster centipede that visits the village once a year. Maya confronts it but is saved by her fearless friend, the turtle, who fights it to the death. The village is elated and news spreads quickly to the Emperor of heaven and earth. Maya is betrothed to his son, and the two reign peacefully ever after. The tale is simply told and includes supplemental notes on each page that explain certain aspects of Korean culture, such as the legend of the turtle and artifacts of the people and their beliefs. Unfortunately, the notes sometimes interrupt the flow of the text. For the most part, the illustrations are traditional Korean depictions, but elements of American expressions and facial features find their way onto the page, especially in the couples' wedding portrait in which the bride favors a certain American iconic doll. The illustration of the many cultures represented at the wedding also attempts a certain diversity that borders on stereotype. The tale itself is a familiar one with a lovely sentiment, but it's an optional purchase.—C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804842778
Publisher:
Tuttle Publishing
Publication date:
09/10/2012
Edition description:
Hardcover with Jacket
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,355,329
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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