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When Spring Comes to the DMZ
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When Spring Comes to the DMZ

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  133 reviews
Korea's demilitarized zone has become an amazing accidental nature preserve that gives hope for a brighter future for a divided land.

Travel into the natural beauty of the DMZ, where salmon, spotted seals, and mountain goats freely follow the seasons and raise their families in this 2.5-mile-wide, 150-mile-long corridor where no human may tread. But the vivid seasonal flora
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 8th 2019 by Plough Publishing House
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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When Spring Comes to the DMZ is a beautiful but bittersweet story set in the 4 km-wide demilitarized zone between South Korea and North Korea. Each of the two countries has put up a fence at their respective boundary of the zone to keep people from travelling between the nations.

We loosely follow the narrator's grandfather as he makes a pilgrimage to the South Korean fence each season to look longingly to the North through binoculars.

Although the fences are not so great for people, the
Ivonne Rovira
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
South Korean author and artist Uk-Bae Lee has crafted an enchanting book that contrasts the wildlife that now thrive in the demilitarized zone that divides North and South Korea with the military men who keep the two peoples apart. Lee’s softly tinted, detailed illustrations hail back to an earlier time, reminding me of Lois Lenski’s Strawberry Girl, Berta and Elmer Haders’s The Big Snow, or any of Marguerite de Angeli’s beautiful books.

In When Spring Comes to the DMZ, a boy and his grandfather
David Schaafsma
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely picture book by South Korean illustrator Uk-Bae Lee promoting peace as part of the Peace Picture Book Project by artists from Korea, China and Japan. The focus is on the DMZ (demilitarized zone) that has existed between South and North Korea since the ceasefire in 1953. Since no humans can set foot on it, it is a kind of untrammeled paradise, an ecological treasure, a 2.5-mile-wide, 150-mile-long corridor where flora and fauna thrive without the threat of humans. A place of peace! Human ...more
Karen Witzler
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this very much and my teacher-trainee daughter is using it for a classroom unit on Peace. The DMZ between the two Koreas is off limits to humans, but not to wildlife, who thrive in the accidental nature reserve. Each double-page spread of this picture book moves through the seasons as Grandfather and his grandchild (or great-grandchild?) climb up to the observation deck and look over into the land of Grandfather's youth. A different animal grouping is described at the turn of each ...more
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to MissBecka by: Jane
This is a lovely way to educate children (and adults) on peace and acceptance.
This beautiful picture book takes a look at the wonderful things that can be found in the portion of land held between the fenced in borders of North and South Korea. This area is know as the DMZ (demilitarized zone) and no humans are allowed to set foot on it.
As a result all kinds of plants and animals you may not find anywhere else in Korea flourish and live in harmony there. The author has hope that one day the
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't know how to express how I feel reading this because it is mixed of beautiful yet sad. DMZ is something new to me. Never heard about it before and I am glad I read this book, because I always love book that add something to my knowledge. As a bonus, the illustration is really beautiful. It captured the story really well.
I highly recommended everyone of all age to pick this book up :)
Dana-Adriana B.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a very touching and a beautifully illustrated book. The author is telling us about DMZ, the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea, that is now a zone full of beautiful creatures and vegetation.
Thanks to Netgalley and the author for this beautiful book.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautifully illustrated, touching story. Beauty can be found in odd places, and the longing for home is woven throug nicely.
Robert Cojocaru
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great short book, for all ages with great illustrations and a heart-warming story.
Thanks Netgalley for the free review copy!
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Did you know that the DMZ, the zone between the two Koreas, is effectively a wild life refuge, and that people no one lives there, some plants and animals that live there, live no where else. So, it is not so odd a think to go and visit the observation deck and look out into it.

A very different sort of picture book, that juxtaposes the wild life with the armies that also live right on the edge of the zone.



Good book to teach about the area, and also reflect on what has happened all these years.

Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: vine, childrens
This is a beautifully illustrated book about the DMZ, or Demilitarized Zone, that separates North and South Korea. It's about 2.5 miles wide and stretches from the east coast of the Korean Peninsula to the west coast. As it says in the end, “Because people are not allowed to cross into the DMZ, it has become a sanctuary for a wide variety of wildlife that has disappeared or become endangered in other places. As a result, people often call the DMZ a paradise for wildlife. In reality, it is not a ...more
Laura Harrison
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am in awe of this book. How the author/illustrator evokes peace and beauty amid the military presence and ghastly fences separating North and South Korea is a marvel. When Spring Comes to the DMZ will really open the rest of the world's eyes to what the Korean ppl have to endure. I hope every school and library in the U.S. will buy a copy of this important work. I must add the illustrations are some of the greatest I have ever seen. They are reminiscent of the most important classic ...more
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: korea, kids, net-galley
After living in South Korea for a decade, I’m often surprised by how little people know about the country. This children’s book illustrates a feature of the DMZ that most likely hadn’t heard of - it’s a haven for wildlife. My daughters enjoyed the illustrations, which are gorgeous, and while they are a bit young to comprehend the Korean War and the division of the country, they seemed very interested in the story of Grandfather missing his home. This is one to buy a paper copy of, for sure.
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The only thing I've had brain power for this week (in the recreational reading department) is this picture book. And, yeah, it's about the DMZ... not perhaps what you would immediately reach for when thinking of nice, pleasant children's picture books. It just happened to be next on my list from NetGalley. As it turns out, I thought it was pretty good. It is beautifully illustrated and simply written.

The DMZ, or demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, has become an unexpected sort of
Rebekah Giese Witherspoon
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This children’s picture book is touching and poignant. It focuses on the peacefulness of the animals who thrive in the DMZ (demilitarized zone) between North Korea and South Korea. We see lovely drawings of these little creatures contentedly nurturing their families and building their homes, blissfully unaware of the fact that they live within two barbed wire barricades.

Grandfather, on the other hand, is constantly aware of the wall that divides him from the rest of his family. Spring, summer,
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and graceful plea to make peace an important and urgent value in one's own life, presented in story form, without harsh judgment against anyone, with elegant and lively illustrations of each season, and with a great deal of empathy towards those who are harmed and displaced by war.

No solutions offered or insisted upon, except the all-important first step of wanting to find one's way toward peace, as soon as one possibly can. I hope it stays in today's kids' hearts the way some of
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book. Over the course of a year we see how the division between North and South Korea affects both the people and the animals who live there. The illustrations are delightful and lively. The character of Grandfather embodies all those who have been impacted by the separation. We live in a global society and a book like When Spring Comes to the DMZ is a valuable tool for parents or teachers who wish to help children understand the life and history of ...more
When a young boy and his grandfather set out for a days hike, they stumble upon the beauty surrounding Korea's demilitarized zone. The illustrations are bright, colorful and full of life. Thank you to Plough Publishing for the physical Advanced Reading Copy.
Jon Nakapalau
One of the best books I have read this year - simple yet deeply profound - not just for children.
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Uk-Bae Lee does an excellent job creating a children's book gentle enough to introduce the conversation regarding the divide of South Korea and the North Korea--which, I hope that any children that I would ever have would care about (mostly because I care so much about what God is doing there), without over introduction to the terrible reality that has ripped apart the two countries and has isolated an entire population under a totalitarian dictator. (Wow, that was a really long sentience for a ...more
When Spring Comes to The DMZ by Uk-Bae Lee is a surprise of the best kind. Children in Korea definitely deserve this one (and it has been available in Korean since 2010), but I'm glad that even those who do not read Korean will be able to access this picture book now.

The illustrations are genuinely breathtaking, with a soft light to them that makes them incredibly easy on the eye. The style actually reminds me of books I enjoyed in my own childhood, and I think adults and children alike will
Paul Franco
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
This has to be the strangest idea for a children’s book. . . maybe not so much for a kid growing up in South Korea, but still. . .
Vegetation and animals can do whatever they want at the border’s no-man’s-land, but not people. A grandfather is a unifying figure in the story, as he climbs to the observatory to take in the view over and over. The reader is led to believe he’s looking at the landscape and all the animals described, but of course it’s so much more than that.
Despite the small article
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Not only is this an a compelling and beautiful book, it kindled an interest in me to dig deeper and see the evolution of the DMZ and the two separate countries of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea.

What a way to get people interested in history and the issues facing the peoples of North and South Korea!


Thanks to NetGalley and Plough Publishing for a copy in return for an honest review.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Spring Comes to the DMZ is a lyrical and beautiful picture book about the wildlife that's found in the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea, and the story of an old man who goes periodically to the lookout on the South Korea side to look at his old home in the north. The author and illustrator juxtapose the freedom of the birds and animals with the barbed wire and military exercises of people in a poignant and moving book.
Karen Arendt
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a simple yet powerful story of the demilitarized zone between South Korea and North Korea. The effects of war on people are widely felt, yet hope still exists in the blossoming of flowers and changes of the seasons.
Rogene Carter
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
A wonderfully political and poetic look at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. I particularly loved the character of the grandfather and how he dreams of a peaceful resolution between the two governments.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not at all what I was thinking.
January Gray
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Do yourself and your children a HUGE favor and buy this book! Amazing isn't the right word to describe it! It is beyond amazing!

This will stay in you and your child's memory for a very long time!
Who'd have thought that a space created between warring humans would create a place where nature reigns "in peace". An unintentional nature preserve, the DMZ holds healthy numbers of species that have either disappeared or are seriously endangered in other places.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Established in 1953, The DMZ - the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea - has, over time, become a nature preserve, with plants and animals living and thriving amid the razor wire, soldiers, and military machines. When the Spring Comes to the DMZ introduces readers to the DMZ throughout the seasons, illustrating how wildlife lives almost effortlessly - razor wire ever-present in the background, husks of man-made machinery now home to animal families - and through the eyes of a boy ...more
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Uk-Bae Lee was born in Yongin, South Korea, in 1960 and studied art at Hongik University. In 1986 he joined a group of artists whose murals, cartoons, and woodcuts represented the voice of the poor. He also held free painting classes for factory workers. Later, inspired to make a book for his own young daughter, he began his career as a children's book illustrator. In 2010 he published When Spring ...more