Goodness is rewarded and cruelty punished in this staple of Korean folklore, an archetypal tale of two brothers. When their father dies, elder brother Nolbu, greedy and mean-spirited, inherits the family property and banishes big-hearted younger brother Hungbu, his wife and three children. Hungbu's destitution doesn't change his generous nature, and when he shows kindness to a tiny injured swallow, he is magically rewarded with great prosperity. Envious Nolbu seeks out the same good fortune-and wreaks his own downfall. Hungbu, forgiving, takes in Nolbu, who mends his ways. Jaffe's (In the Month of Kislev) retelling of this classic tale is eloquent yet concise, with just the right amount of scene-setting detail. Ma (The Painted Fan), favoring a soothing, predominantly pastel palette, gracefully interprets the story with atmospheric watercolors. Ages 3-8. (June)
This is a Korean legend, retold, of two brothers who are "as different as day and night." The virtues of one reap rewards for him, but also raise the ire and jealousy of his brother. Jaffe tells the tale with a nice economy of phrase, and highlights the underlying values, honor and loyalty, and respect for nature, that are such a fundamental part of the culture from which this story comes to us. Children can experience what is considered heroism in a part of the world that is different from their own. Wenhai Ma's pale and beautiful watercolors illustrate the text with subtle understatement.
The story tells of a kindly younger brother, whose goodness leads to rewards, and his greedy older brother, who reaps the ill seeds he sows until he mends his ways. The soft watercolors aptly depict the differences in the homes, countryside, clothing and personalities of the two brothers.