Bi-lingual Korean and English Books for Children
Second generation immigrants and adoptees find it a challenge to connect to their heritage and roots. As an author, playwright, presenter, and teacher, I share books, stories, and resources on Korean and Asian culture. Knowing where you came from makes the future clearer.
My mom's hanbok!
Dual language Korean/English Folktales
Multi-culture Book Reviews and Korean Culture Blog
Korean culture videos and read-loud for children
Meet the Author @ Gwinnett County Library
A Bi-Lingual, Multi-Cultural Adventure
The story behind the story
I had to learn Korean… fast. My mom called from Korea to announce she had cancer. My sisters and I wanted her to come back home so we could take care of her. My fiercely independent mother said 'no'.
With the sudden news, I saw into my future - flying to Korea, conferring with doctors about my mom’s condition and possibly flying her back home.
But how could I do that if I didn't know Korean? When we moved to the U.S., I was eight-years-old and Korean seemed unnecessary and uncool, so I abandoned it like rotten leftovers.
Solution: Korean school.
As an adult, I found myself in Korean school with eight-year old classmates. Their young brains sucked up the language as though drinking from a fat straw. My brain sipped it at the speed of a clogged plastic coffee stirrer. Some days I wanted to give up.
But then, I received homework assignments to read Korean traditional folktales. Like my classmates, I enjoyed language-learning much more so through stories than through textbooks. Learning a foreign language, one story at a time, seemed doable.
I translated the tales into English to read them to my seven-year-old daughter, Rachel, an avid reader. She knew Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Three Little Pigs but consumed the Korean-turned-English stories with a stronger appetite than she did other stories and asked for more. I secretly liked the subtle moral message that came with each one and the insight into a rich culture I never knew existed.
I read my translations to K-3rd graders at my daughter's school with equally good reviews. Their eyes shined with curiosity as they asked about an unfamiliar language and culture. Their enthusiasm energized me to adapt the tales, making them more accessible to a younger, Western audience. I imagined bi-lingual books for young children based on these adaptations: perhaps an interactive experience via a tablet, with narration and dialog to engage and make kids laugh.
This is how Eeyagi Tales was born. Through the misfortune of an ill mother, I discovered diversity, a rich culture, language and stories to share. Eeyagi means story in Korean. We’re about: