Yoon and the Jade Bracelet

Overview

It is Yoon’s birthday and all she wants is a jump rope so she can play with the other girls in the school yard. Instead, Yoon’s mother gives her a Korean storybook about a silly girl who is tricked by a tiger. Yoon also receives a jade bracelet that once belonged to her grandmother. The next day at school, a girl offers to teach Yoon how to jump rope, but for a price: she wants to borrow the jade bracelet. When Yoon tries to get her bracelet back, the girl swears it belongs to her. Yoon must use the lessons ...

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Overview

It is Yoon’s birthday and all she wants is a jump rope so she can play with the other girls in the school yard. Instead, Yoon’s mother gives her a Korean storybook about a silly girl who is tricked by a tiger. Yoon also receives a jade bracelet that once belonged to her grandmother. The next day at school, a girl offers to teach Yoon how to jump rope, but for a price: she wants to borrow the jade bracelet. When Yoon tries to get her bracelet back, the girl swears it belongs to her. Yoon must use the lessons learned in her storybook and her “Shining Wisdom” to retrieve the precious keepsake.

In this third book featuring Yoon, lush impressionistic dreamscapes evoke a simple and timeless message: it is possible to trick a tiger.
 

Yoon and the Jade Bracelet is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Swiatkowska captures subtle changes of expression and signs of character in the faces and bodies of her figures.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This story . . . allows readers to discover aspects of Korean culture and to learn how a Korean-American child reconciles her two worlds.” —School Library Journal

“The satisfying resolution is well earned and will bolster readers facing their own tricky schoolyard tigers.” —Horn Book

“Recorvits’ story will ring true to any child who’s ever dealt with a bully, while Swiatkowska’s expressive paintings bring further emotion to the tale.” —Scripps Howard News Service

“The accomplished art has a childlike naiveté that fits the gentle story.” —Booklist


“Beautifully written and illustrated in every way, this gentle yet powerful story provides an important lesson on bullies and honesty.” —The Santa Fe New Mexican

Children's Literature - Charles E. Kreinbucher
This Korean story would be a wonderful addition to any multicultural classroom library. It is written simply, but has a powerful and carefully-planned storyline. Yoon, a young immigrant girl, longs to have friends. She also years for a jump rope, like the other girls at school have. Her birthday approaches, but instead of a jump rope, Yoon receives two gifts from her mother: a book about a girl who was tricked by a tiger and a Jade bracelet, a family heirloom. The bracelet signified Yoon and contained her name. Yoon's mother explained that jade was the color of happiness and hope. The next day, Yoon began to experience those two feelings. She made friends and had the opportunity to jump rope. All seemed to be going well, until she was tricked into allowing another girl to wear the bracelet and the girl claimed it as her own. Yoon recognizes her similarity to the girl in the storybook, tricked by a tiger. She finally gets her bracelet back as she explains its significance. Her special Korean name, etched inside, becomes something she is even more proud of. Reviewer: Charles E. Kreinbucher
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

The child first introduced in My Name Is Yoon (2003) and Yoon and the Christmas Mitten (2006, both Farrar) returns in a story centered on her birthday. Yoon longs for a jump rope in order to join the other girls on the playground. Instead she receives a book and a precious family bracelet with her name, meaning "Shining Wisdom," engraved inside in Korean. Yoon is tricked into lending it to an older girl who promises to teach her how to jump rope. But when the girl refuses to return the bracelet, Yoon must figure some way to get it back. This story opens like the others, with the protagonist stating, "My name is Yoon. I came here from Korea, a country far away." It allows readers to discover aspects of Korean culture and to learn how a Korean-American child reconciles her two worlds. Swiatkowska's illustrations are full of texture, and her brushstrokes continue to become more open and loose. Here, the paintings occupy a large number of spreads, and backgrounds are completely filled with single colors, sometimes bold reds and aquas, other times more muted olives and grays. The large textured strokes, thickly applied paint, and distorted forms are in keeping with the symbolism of the jade bracelet and the imagery in the folktale that Yoon receives as birthday gifts.-Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD

Kirkus Reviews
In her third appearance, young Korean immigrant Yoon is disappointed when her mother gives her a folktale and an heirloom bracelet for her birthday rather than a coveted jump rope. The first gift, which is about tricking a tiger, comes in handy later on, though, when an unnamed older schoolmate pressures Yoon into lending the bracelet and then claims that it's hers. As Recorvits neither tells nor even clearly identifies said tale, the application of folklore to a real-life situation isn't particularly convincing. Furthermore, though Yoon comes away with both the bracelet and an implied appreciation for the value of staying in touch with a cultural tradition, she ends up as much an outsider at school as before. Swiatkowska captures subtle changes of expression and signs of character in the faces and bodies of her figures despite using broad brushstrokes and streaky paint for the art-but that visual depth is not reflected in the spare, unsatisfying narrative. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374386894
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 8/5/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 692,500
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

HELEN RECORVITS and GABI SWIATKOWSKA collaborated on two previous books about Yoon. My Name Is Yoon was named an ALA Notable Book, among other honors, and Ms. Swiatkowska received the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award for her artwork. Ms. Recorvits lives in North Scituate, Rhode Island. Ms. Swiatkowska lives in France.

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