Korea (both North and South) has been in the news a lot over the past year, and not always for positive reasons. However, the countries have a beautiful culture and one way for children to learn about far away places is through books. All About Korea is one book full of interesting information.
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Tuttle Publishing kindly sent us a copy of All About Korea: Stories, Songs, Crafts and Games for Kids so my children could learn a little more about the Korean peninsula and what it has to offer to the world. This book is more specifically about South Korea, with a brief history of how the land was settled and then split into two countries.
The main categories of All About Korea are:
- Korea Today
- Religion and Wisddom
- A Korean Folktale
- Great Games and Activities
- Can You Say it in Korean?
- Music and Dance
- Singing Time
- Korean Arts and Crafts
- Traditional Clothing
- Korean homes Yesterday and Today
- Korean Food is Delicious!
- The Keys to Success: Education and Respect
- Holidays: Family, Fun and Festivities
Throughout this book children will discover how important being kind to others is, as well as the importance of respect. This is a big difference between the Korean culture and the ‘me generation’ of the Western world, although I definitely rank respect as the top character trait I try to instil in my own children.
The arts make up a good portion of this book in many forms. From martial arts to singing, kite flying, paper folding, and traditional clothing, which are all very colourful and beautiful.
There are some fun projects for kids to do, too, such as making a kite, a buk drum, a White Tiger puppet, a paper mache mask, Korean calligraphy, and more.
Kids can learn to play Korean jacks, Gonggi, make and play Jegi, which is like hacky sack, and they can learn to balance and wrestle at the same time with Dakssaum.
And of course, no All About book would be complete without learning about the local cuisine. Korean food is known for its spiciness, and it was one of my favourite foods to eat while I lived in Japan. There are recipes included for Bulgogi, a barbecued beef, as well as Kimbap, a vegetable, rice, and barbecued meat roll, similar to sushi, but with its own flavours, and Songpyeon, sweet filled rice cakes in half-moon half moon shapes. Here’s a meal the children helped make; it’s one of their favourites.
All About Korea is perhaps the most activity-rich book we’ve read in the series, with more culture being shared through music and projects than through history and customs, and it doesn’t compare the lives of children in different locations as in the other All About books. This doesn’t distract from the information in the book, but I am just letting you know that this book is a little different in that sense in case you were expecting it.
The children and I enjoyed reading together in the afternoons and learning All About Korea. We all love learning about what makes each culture unique as well as the aspects that bind us together. All About Korea is a fine addition to our home culture library and we will return to it in the future when the subject of Korea arises, as it no doubt will, either in the news, or in conversation.