The Turtle Ship

The Turtle Ship


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Long ago in Korea, a young boy named Sunsin spent his days playing with his pet turtle Gobugi and dreaming of sailing around the world. As a poor villager, though, his dream to travel seemed impossible. Then one day, the king's court announced a contest to find the best design for a new battleship to defend the land from invaders. The winner would sail the ocean with the royal navy.

Determined to win, Sunsin attempts to build an indestructible battleship with a few found items. Each attempt fails miserably against the powerful sea, and with it Sunsin's dream also sinks to the bottom. Turning to Gobugi for comfort, Sunsin notices how his pet turtle is small but mighty, slow but steady, and impossible to sink. Suddenly, Sunsin has a great idea.

Loosely based on Admiral Yi Sunsin and the Turtle War Ship (Keo-Book-Sun), debut author Helena Ku Rhee and debut illustrator Colleen Kong-Savage introduce young readers to a fascinating episode in Korean history and naval engineering.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781885008909
Publisher: Shen's Books
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 562,733
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

About the Author

Helena Ku Rhee is a children's book writer by night and works full-time at Sony Pictures by day. Born in South Korea, she grew up listening to mighty tales of the Turtle Ship and Admiral Yi Sunsin from her parents and grandparents. This is her picture book debut. She lives in Los Angeles with her family. You can find her online at

Colleen Kong-Savage is a full-time illustrator and graphic artist. Growing up, her family traveled around the world from Hawaii to the Philippines, Zambia, Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia. Kong-Savage finally settled in New York City, and worked at an art supply store where she spent half her paycheck on handmade papers. For this debut picture book, she spent countless hours researching the clothes, living conditions, and landscape during this period of Korean history, and then finding the right paper for each item. Kong-Savage lives in New York City. You can visit her online at

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