From an early age, Robert Choi learned traditional Korean folk songs and was introduced to Korean culture through food, music, language, and martial arts. Previously a member of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, he currently serves as a full-time music educator. Illustrator SamEe Back lives in Seoul where she studies Visual Design at Duksung Women's University. Korean Folk Songs is her first work of published illustrations.
This book-and-CD combination showcases 14 traditional Korean folk songs that are 'engraved in the hearts and minds of all Koreans.' With cultural notes that illustrate the significance of each song, the selections provide readers with details of Korean history, culture and language. A good book for a diverse world, especially for Korean-Americans who want to learn about their heritage or English speakers hoping to learn basic Korean language skills. -Kirkus Reviews 'Korean Folk Songs' is an inspirational traditional and nursery song collection, influenced by and interwoven with a rich but bitter, complex history of this beloved country. -Midwest Book Review ...a great selection of songs... -Growing Book by Book blog All of the songs are steeped in the Korean culture and are likely songs our children adopted from Korea heard during the months or years spent in their birth country. The illustrations by Samee Back are beautiful and represent the folksy, cultural aspect of the book well. [...] I would highly recommend the book for any family that is learning the Korean language (learning by song is sometimes the easiest way to learn), and especially for adoptive families with Korean-born kiddos. My 9-year-old enjoyed listening to the CD and looking at the illustrations. -The Korean Way In Korean Folk Songs: Stars in the Sky and Dreams in Our Hearts by Robert Choi there are all these songs that I like to listen to. These are songs that are in a different language, and I don't like it when mama sings in that language but you can sing it in our language too [...] I like to listen to the CD that came with this book and look at the pictures. I like these songs a lot. -Liesel, kid reviewer, San Diego Book Review For Korean American parents who grew up with these songs, discovering this title surely comes with a giggle of nostalgic delight. [...] For those without immigrant Korean grandparents to teach the first tunes, this provides just the right start, especially with the accompanying music and CD: read, hear, play, and soon enough you'll be singing (and hopping, clapping, wriggling) along. -Smithsonian Book Dragon This book offers unique insight into Korean culture with its collection of 14 songs with musical notations, melody and piano accompaniment. Short text explanations, illustrations and a CD recording help bring the songs to life. -Skipping Stones blog There's lots of fun to be had with this sing-along book and CD of traditional Korean folk songs. ... Youngsters will giggle as they mime throwing stones in the river, pretend to wash herbs in the water, or 'find a partner and tickle his or her hands!' [...] Realistic watercolor illustrations mirror the content of the songs. Here's a delightful, culturally affirmative, and worthwhile library addition. - Booklist