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Maya and the Turtle: A Korean Fairy Tale
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Maya and the Turtle: A Korean Fairy Tale

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  21 reviews
This multicultural children's book presents a heartwarming Korean fairy tale about a little girl and a fortunate encounter.

Poverty is all Maya has ever known, but she doesn't allow it to stop her from caring for her father, and others, as best she can. Kind and gentle, she is a lovely young girl who always puts others first. One day, she finds a little turtle and takes him
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 10th 2012 by Tuttle Publishing
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 ·  63 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
When I spotted that this was a Korean children’s fairytale passed down from mother to daughter, I was delighted to pick it up and listen in.
The short ‘picture’ story was tender and had a blend of courage, generosity, adversity, and magic which made for a good fairytale. I didn’t have the illustrations of the picture book before me, but I was able to see brave, sweet Maya in my mind’s eye cling to the promise her mother made before she died and then do everything she could to save her father.
☆Tweety ~ purplebass ☆
I listened to the audio book version of this fairy tale and it was adorable! The narrator, Talulah Shadrick is young so she gave the story the right spin. It wouldn't have had the same effect if an adult woman had told the story, so the choice of the narrator was great.

Maya and the Turtle is a story Soma Han's mother used to tell her and her sister. I liked this bit, because I think fairy tales are what makes us dream despite reality is not glitter and gold. Fairy tales make us believe that ther
Maya's mother died when she was a young girl. Before her death, she told Maya that Maya would one day become a princess and that her mother would always watch over her. Maya and her father were poor and when her father became ill, Maya determined that she would offer herself as a sacrifice to the monstrous centipede that attacked the village on the other side of the mountain. The village paid a large sum to anyone brave enough to face the centipede, so Maya was able to buy her father medicine to ...more
Melissa White
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful story about the value of compassion, bravery and selflessness! I also love that it won a "Morning Calm" Medal which is a Korean student voted award! The story is written in a simplistic, folklore fashion and features beautiful illustrations of the characters and scenery on every page. The illustrator's use of bright colors and sharp, ink angles definitely salute authentic Asian artwork and further engage the reader in Korean culture. The book also uses culturally relevant lan ...more
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great little tale of a poor girl that cares for others and puts others first. A great story for children.
Steff Fox
| Review on Reader Fox Blog |

This is perhaps the first time that I've read a children's book and I cannot say that I have a lot of input on the artwork. In fact, all I can honestly say is that the cover is quite beautiful and the few illustrations I saw in the audiobook trailer were lovely. A blend of watercolor depictions, I just love how it all comes together. For Maya and the Turtle: A Korean Fairy Tale by John Stickler and illustrated by Soma Han, I actually just listened to the audiobo
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
My review is for the audiobook edition that I received for review from one of the authors.

Rating: 3 stars for the story, 2 stars for the audiobook → averaged up to 3 stars

Maya and the Turtle bears a strong resemblance to the traditional Cinderella stories, particularly the Eastern ones with their themes of filial piety, and it is written like a fairy tale.

The premise: Maya is born to a poor but proud family. When Maya is young, her mother dies. On her deathbed, the mother tells Maya to take car
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
I really wanted to like this book, but it was too full of mysticism (prophetic dreams, totems, emperor of heaven, magic) and scary things (child sacrifices, a flying centipede that terrorizes a town). I skipped much of the dialogue due to these issues.
Owen & Hannah
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
The story is quite sad but it does offer a lesson in sacrificing one's own needs for family. ...more
It was an interesting tale. I liked the Korean words that were interspersed and explained in the book.
Lo Co
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maya is left and the Turtle is no more

Old tale was too rushed, people pass away quickly, then get married fast, although see where people believe Emperor(s) as God's.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This Korean Folk Tale tells the story of Maya. She and her father are poor, but live a comfortable life. Her mother is dead, but foresaw Maya's destiny of becoming a princess. One day Maya finds a little turtle. She takes him home, raising, caring for him and never knowing that he will play a part in her destiny. Beautifully illustrated and filled with fascinating nuggets of information about Korean culture, this book offers a poignant tale of the rewards of kindness, patience, courage, a loving ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, own
I received this book as part of a first reads giveaway. Here is my honest review.

My favorite part of this book was the footnotes that explained different aspect of Korean culture mentioned in the book. The actual story was not my favorite fairy tale but these footnotes really added to the story. I could see using this book to teach a child a bit about Korean culture.

The illustrations were fantastic!
Kristen Mulvihill
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
[I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads' First Reads.]

The illustrations are gorgeous. I especially enjoyed the footnotes about Korean culture throughout. The footnotes were sometimes also humorous little asides from the story, which I enjoyed!

I wish there were more to the story, and would second other reviewers that the ending seemed really abrupt.
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I won this book from Goodreads, and I'm so glad I did! The illustrations are beautiful, warm, and engaging, and the footnotes are a wonderful touch. The text is a bit lengthy for a traditional picturebook, but overall I'm proud to add it to my library. ...more
Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it
It's hard not to enjoy a book that features an enormous flying killer centipede and a prince who rides a stegosaurus. ...more
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Anna Youssef
Kind and caring Maya looks after her father, and others, even though she is poor. One day, she finds a turtle and takes him home. She raises and loves him, and becomes a big part of her life. This book teaches children that the road to greatness lies in the selflessness, kindness, and love of a pure heart. This book has beautiful illustrations, and a great moral that will help students become more loving and kind towards others. It also contains bits of information about the Korean culture and r ...more
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Apr 05, 2017
Daniela Bosque
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Micaela Fox
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
Genre: Fictional Picture Book
Target Audience: 2nd - 4th grade
Text-to-Self: While reading this Korean fairy tale, it reminded me of when I would go to camping by the Missouri river and find turtles, frogs, so many bugs. Although they weren't magical like Maya's turtle, there were still special!
Text-to-Text: This book reminded me of the fairy tale we have in America of Cinderella. While the turtle helps Maya with her destiny, all of the birds that help Cinderella throughout the story help her reac
rated it really liked it
Feb 18, 2015
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Soma Han was born in the agricultural southwestern part of the Korean peninsula. She was the ninth child of the village elder, a Tao master and teacher of Buddhism, a descendant of the aristocratic Han family.

Soma Han has a BA in literature and a BFA degree from the California College of the Arts. Her works have been shown in galleries in Arizona, California, New York, Washington, D.C., Mexico, H

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