Exploring Korea from Home Reviews of Two Books

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease,but receive no compensation.

Today we are going to share with you two wonderful books from Tuttle Publishing. The first is All About Korea by Ann Martin Bowler. This book is a wonderful introduction to South Korea. It includes stories, songs, crafts, recipes and what life is like there. We really enjoy trying the different things and Hazel insists on trying all of them. This book also has additional resources on the Tuttle Publishing website. The book does a nice job of explaining about the split of North and South Korea and how the focus of the book will be on South Korea.

We started by making Korean paper boxes. We used scrapbook paper for them. You need two sheets. The introduction to the craft explains how Koreans have used paper since at least the fourth century. It also gives examples of how paper was used long ago in Korea for things like windows, doors, bowls, combs and more. We had trouble with the last fold, but Hazel filled hers with treasures right away.

Now there are two folktales in the book. One is about a tiger and the other is about frogs. It seems only fitting to have a tiger craft. We made the white tiger puppet out of a white paper bag.

I knew Hazel would have difficulty drawing the head and arms of the tiger, so I went to the All About Korea part of the site and downloaded the extra items and it includes two versions of this tiger head and arms at different sizes. I found we needed to adjust the smallest one a bit bigger for what we wanted, but not as much as it said on the page.  While there we also found the instructions to make this fun frog puppet to go with the folktale, "Two Foolish Green Frogs". 

The fun part of this paper plate frog puppet is the tongue is a party blower. 

The final craft we did was to make the buk drum. We used a coffee can instead of an oatmeal can. 

The Music and Dance section was so interesting to learn about the 12-stringed gayageum and the Korean fan dance. 
Gayageum 12 string.jpg
"Gayageum 12 string" by Visviva - Own work
Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The second book we are sharing today is Korean Children's Favorite Stories by Kim So-Un.
This book is full of traditional folktales from Korea. Hazel loves this book. There are many stories that have a tiger in them as well as others. We were reading one story each night and Hazel would beg me to read more. She could not wait to hear the stories from this book. Needless to say, we highly recommend it. After reading the stories from this book, it made perfect sense to make some sort of tiger craft. Hazel commented how there were tigers in so many of the stories.
By by Nagyman ( 
[CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
It always amazes me how folktales can give you an idea about the culture of a country. The stories include the animals and a bit about life in the country as well as some of the fantasies and legends. One story was about the great flood that flooded all the world except the top of the highest mountain in Korea.

Both books are beautifully illustrated and of good quality. I truly find Tuttle Publishing books amazing in quality and beauty. I can emphasize it enough. So this is the continuation of our exploration of Korea. Both of these books added so much more to our knowledge about Korea even though we "visited" Korea with Around the World in 12 Dishes last year. These books just added so much more depth to everything. I truly enjoy learning about the countries this much.

For more posts about Korea and Korean culture check out: