Books from Korea: 35 Korean Books for Kids

Books about Korea for Kids

 

Books from Korea: 35 Korean Books for Kids showing Korean Culture

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Let’s discover books from Korea that will help children love to read and learn about Korean culture. Find books about South Korea, books about North Korea, Korean picture books, novels about Korea and more in these selections.

 

Find your next read in these 35 Delightful Korea Books for Children!

 

Korean Culture: Chapter Books about Korea

When You Trap a Tiger? by Tae Keller

This book won the 2021 Newbery Award.

A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park

The Kite Fighters, by Linda Sue Park

Seesaw Girl, by Linda Sue Park

When My Name Was Keoko, by  Linda Sue Park

Finding Junie Kim, by Ellen Oh

Book about the Korean War and its effect on her family, Junie Kim learns about the experiences of war through her grandparents. This book is recommended for ages 8 to 12. 

The author, Ellen Oh, herself has personal experience with this topic as the book was based on her mother’s life spent in the Korean War. That story served as the model for the stories that Junie Kim’s grandparents share with her as a character. 

Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars, Korea A.D. 595 (Royal Diaries), by Sheri Holman

This book, ages 8 to 12, tells of Sondok in the early Korea. At that time there were three empires dueling, and three religions prominent throughout Korea (Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shamanism). This book is a historical fiction retelling of Queen Seondeok of the Silla Kingdom on the Korean Penninsula. The book is generally rated as pretty informative, and keeping a child’s interest, although some have noted issues with the spellings (Sondok versus Seondeok) being anglecized. Part of the Royal Diaries book series.

A Year of Impossible Goodbyes, by Sook Nyul Choi

Brother’s Keeper, Julie Lee

This book is about escaping from North Korea to South Korea in 1950, as the war looms large overhead. Two siblings decide to make the trek of 300 miles, in winter, to Buson for escape. Learn about the Korean War and traditions of Korea in the 1950s in this book about survival and a long journey in The Forgotten War.

A family in a North Korean village decides to escape for safety heading south. A bomb separates the brother and sister from their parents, so they must finish up the journey relying on themselves. A book great for ages 8 to 12.

Korean folktales: Korean stories for children

Heung Bu and Nol Bu, by F.B. Smit

The Green Frog: A Korean Folktale Retold by Yumi Heo

The Mysterious Stream: A Bilingual Korean Folktale, by FB Smit

Three Korean Fairytales: Beloved Stories and Legends, by Kim So-un, illustrated by Jeong Kyoung-Sim

Lady Hahn and her Seven Friends, by Yumi Heo

This book from Korea focuses on Lady Hahn, a seamstress, and her 7 friends, who are her work tools personified. She has a ruler, scissors, needle, thread, thimble, iron, and flatiron. Lady Hahn gets annoyed at their bragging, that they are the best tool ever, so she dismisses them all.

Eventually, Lady Hahn realizes she needs them back, and so each tool’s purpose is highlighted and they work together as a team in harmony. This Korean picture book folktale is a great book for those who like to sew.

Maya and the Turtle: A Korean Fairytale by Soma Han

Korean Food: Books about Korean food

Mindy Kim and the Trip to Korea, by Lyla Lee, illustrated by Dung Ho

This is the fifth book in the series, but is great as a stand-alone. Written on a Junie B. Jones level of easy reader, this book shows Mindy Kim visit her grandparents in South Korea. While staying in South Korea, she attempts to make an authentic South Korean meal with some mishaps in the kitchen. It also discusses the plane ride and airport on the journey from the United States to Korea. For more books about this Korean-American girl named Mindy as she runs for class president, gets a puppy, and celebrates the Lunar New Year, click here.

Bee-Bim Bop!, by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee

A perfect preschool book

 

Krista Kim-Bap, by Angela Ahn

No Kimchi for Me, by Aram Kim

 

The Have a Good Day Cafe, by Frances Park and Ginger Park, illustrated by Katherine Potter

A grandmother creates a roadside food cart selling Jijim, bulgogi, and mandoo.

My First Book of Korean Words: An ABC Rhyming Book, by Henry J Amen IV and Kyubyong Park

Learn more than 26 great words like Kimchi, taekwondo, and wangbi

Sunday Funday in Koreatown, by Aram Kim

Dear Juno, by Soyung Pak

A boy writes to his grandmother from Korea, without understanding what she writes to him. 

 

New Clothes for New Year’s Day, by Hyun-Joo Bae

Peach Heaven, by Yangsook Choi

Books about North Korea

Rice from Heaven: The Secret Mission to Feed North Koreans, by Tina Cho

My Freedom Trip: A Child’s Escape from North Korea,by Frances Park and Ginger Park, illustrated by Debra Reid Jenkins

When Spring Comes to the DMZ, by Uk-Bae Lee

Picture Books about Korea

Where’s Halmoni?  by Julie J. Kim

Halmoni and the Picnic, by Sook Nyul Choi, illustrated by Karen Dugan

Yunmi and Halmoni’s Trip, by Sook Nyul Choi, illustrated by Karen Dugan

The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story, by Tina Cho

This book is about a Korean diving tradition where the diving is done without special equipment. Dayeon’s grandmother is a haenyeo, an underwater diver for sea treasures. Dayeon wants to be like her grandmother and learn how to dive as well. She practices and is able to do a successful dive.

This book highlights the haenyeo, a group of women who dive underwater at Jeju Island in Korea.

The Royal Bee, by Frances Park and Ginger Park

This is an excellent book that students in school and families at home both enjoy. This picture book is for ages 5 to 8. One big thing in the book is that you don’t know what the royal “bee” is until the end of the book, making it great for student guesses and predictions.

The story follows a boy who is not able to attend school, because only the wealthy families can do so.

 

South Korea Books about Travel

Dinobibi South Korea Travel for Kids

Living in South Korea: Ready to Read, by Chloe Perkins

All About Korea: Stories, Songs, Crafts, and Games for Kids, by Ann Martin Bowler, illustrated by Soosoonam Barg

Firekeeper’s Son, by Linda Sue Park

Goodbye 382 Shin Dang Dong, by Ginger Park

 

 

Can you find these Korean Books on Kindle?

Many of these books about Korean are available for download on Kindle. This is one options for finding great books from Korea online.

 

 

 

 

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