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Tales of a Korean Grandmother: 32 Traditional Tales from Korea
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Tales of a Korean Grandmother: 32 Traditional Tales from Korea

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  173 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
This multicultural children's book presents classic Korean fairy tales and other folk stories—providing a delightful look into a rich literary culture.

The Korean people possess a folklore tradition as colorful and captivating as any in the world, but the stories themselves still are not as well-known to Western readers as those from The Brothers Grimm, Mother Goose, or Han
Paperback, 318 pages
Published December 15th 1989 by Tuttle Publishing (first published 1947)
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Stacey  D.
This was a so-so book for a genre I don't really like at all. These 32 Korean fairytales are told mainly by Halmoni, a kindly old grandma from the rich Kim family of Seoul to her grandson Yong Tu and her grandaughter (possessing one of the best names ever), Ok Cha.

Most of these outdated, sexist and racist tales, with a sprinkling of appalling animal cruelty and murder tossed in, are related by Halmoni to the grandkids around the turn of the 20th century. A couple were sort of amusing, like "Why
Nov 11, 2016 laurenpie rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Traditional folk-tales wrapped in cultural family-tales

The book's promotional blurb is actually spot-on. Surprisingly, these traditional Korean tales actually can be favorably compared to European folk tales. The stories are comparable in content, length, detail and quality.

The stories in this collection add the welcome component of a family setting--a beloved, familiar and respected grandmother to put these stories in perspective. This "wrapping" of each folk tale within a family tale is succes
Sep 21, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: folklore
When I was a little girl living in Fort Worth, TX, I was delighted to get my first library card. I saw it as a sign of maturity. I loved the Fort Worth Public Library. It was two stories and I got to ride in an elevator, which was a big thing for me at the time. There was a HUGE children's section that you could literally get lost in. It was there that I found this book, "Tales of a Korean Grandmother." I was totally unfamiliar with Korea and had never heard of Frances Carpenter. However, I fell ...more
I've been learning the Korean language, and though I know about some of traditions and a few of the idioms, I didn't know much about these sorts of tales.

I liked the way they set up the storytelling, with a Grandmother telling stories, while they gave the background of what the children were playing and wearing, what the meals were like, how the homes were constructed, so I also got a bit of a history lesson, within the history lesson.

The tales are more like Aesop's Tales then anything as blood
Tales of a Korean Grandmother caught my eye as I was shelving because one of my best friends is from South Korea, and I thought I might gain some insight into her thinking if I gave this one a read. While it's shelved in the kids' department at my library, and is written on a level that they can understand, neither is it such a low level that adults will weep upon reading it, so it's a good choice for families to read together. I especially liked how Carpenter tied all the myths and fairy tales ...more
May 25, 2014 Rubi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This old book was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.
The folktales were entertaining, but I actually like more about the culture and history spread out throughout the book. And the feelings Koreans may have felt at the time.
Like when the Japanese took over and the changes they saw. How styles changes and how hair, clothes and customs were followed in the "old" times. I loved all those small details we got to see as the grandmother told her grandchildren story after story.
I would
Leslie Smith
Mar 31, 2016 Leslie Smith rated it liked it
This book, while interesting (books on Korean folklore are hard to find), was a bit of a challenge. The frame story around the folktales was a bit distracting, and I found the final chapter very Americanized. This is probably due to the author being an American. Overall I thought it gave a good reselling of a variety of folktales, I just would have liked it to be more folktale focuses instead of frame story focused.
Jan 29, 2008 angrykitty rated it really liked it
i'm adoptive korean, so this is a book i got at some korean get together thing. i really enjoyed it though as it gave insight into korean mythology. it's basically just a bunch of korean fairy tales, so it's pretty cool. some do get repetative though.
My kids and I loved these stories, even if the family was often snarky. It was a look into a world that fascinates all of us, and we had a great time reading it.
Krystal Kasuboski
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Sep 15, 2008 Dani rated it liked it
My mom read this to me when I was younger. I enjoyed it. =)
Nov 30, 2011 Tammy rated it really liked it
Made me miss my Grandma's and their stories. Good book!
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Frances Aretta Carpenter was born in 1890, in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Frank G. Carpenter, a journalist and travel book author. She was educated at Smith College, receiving her BA in 1912. In 1920, she married W. Chapin Huntington, with whom she had two children. Carpenter was well traveled, accompanying her father on his investigate tours as a girl, and her husband on his stints with the ...more
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“Between old and young there should be consideration and respect.” 2 likes
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