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Where's Halmoni?

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  758 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Where's Halmoni? is a picture book in a graphic novel style, which follows the story of a young Korean girl and boy whose search for their missing grandmother leads them into a world inspired by Korean folklore, filled with mischievous goblins (dokkebi), a greedy tiger, a clever rabbit, and a wily fox.

Two young children pay a visit to Halmoni (grandmother in Korean), only
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Little Bigfoot
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  758 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Jon Nakapalau
Kind of a Korean riff on Alice In Wonderland - beautiful art!
Kaethe Douglas
Korean folktale characters in a story featuring two contemporary kids and their grandmother. A nice fusion of styles.

Also, Noona and Joon remind me of Emmy and Max from Dragon Tales.

Library copy
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous book with rich and detailed art that tells a fun, old-fashioned tale of magical adventures with just enough modern touches to make it amazing. Really love the traditional Korean mythological figures and the bilingual language. Just a really great book.
Delightful picture book/graphic novel (it's 96 pages, so I'm not sure which category it belongs in), about missing grandmothers, portals to other worlds, tigers and trickster spirits.

Note: I didn't know any of the korean folklore it was referring to, but it was perfectly easy to pick up on things from the art and story.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I love this charming little book which brings several Korean folktale characters vividly to life as it follows two Korean-American children searching for their Halmoni (grandmother). The illustrations are fabulous and are worth looking over many times. A delight to read!
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel meets picture book. Infused with Korean folklore, fantastic illustrations, and a pair of siblings on a quest to find their grandmother, this is a delightful adventure. I loved it.
Beautifully illustrated and fun to read. This has a perfectly balanced blend of traditional and contemporary and introduces Korean folk tale characters to a young audience in a way that will appeal to modern, Western readers.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was fantastic! I immensely enjoyed the infusion of Korean and English together. It made for such a sweet tale of siblings encountering bunnies, goblins, and tigers as they search for their grandma. That bunny was SO cute and the goblins were SO silly. It was a fun read and all of the Korean was translated in the back, which was quite convenient since I didn't have to even pull out my phone for Google Translate ;) . ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A magical book that sends two modern children into a fantasy world of Korean folklore to look for their grandma (halmoni). The creatures they meet speak in Korean, written out in Hangul, and while the translations in the back are informative, they're not necessary to enjoy the story. A wonderful, simple quest story that almost feels like a short Korean Alice in Wonderland. ...more
Kristen Harvey
After rereading this one, I found myself bumping it up to a 5 star rating because I had missed the magic of the book when first reading it. A beautiful story of two siblings trying to find their grandmother, they encounter some magical things. It's a simple and beautifully illustrated book. I really enjoyed it. ...more
Kristina Jean Lareau
A delightful mix of Korean folklore and magic with dynamic and expressive illustrations.
I lovethe format of this picture book. Having it in a more graphic-novel type format definitely makes it an enjoyable read, and the style is one of the cutest styles I've ever seen for a picture book. I'm definitely taking notes.

Where's Halmoni? is a story in which two children on a search for their missing grandmother leads them through a world of Korean folklore.

I love that the story is vivid, beautiful, and dynamic. Each character has emotions and expressions unique to each of them, and aga
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
Oh my goodness! This book was such a delight to read! The art style and story telling were so well done - incorporating traditional Korean art and folktales with a gentle contemporary spin. I loved how the story starts and ends inside the cover, and how there are pages where it’s just the gorgeous illustrations driving the journey. There were mini- chapters (The Rabbit, The Goblins, and The Tiger) that encompass little bits of lore as the kids interact with each of the creatures. The book also i ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fun picture book that any child can enjoy, but I think children of Korean descent in particular will really enjoy it. The art style is absolutely beautiful (I found myself dwelling on the page to stare at the pictures longer than usual) and the story is entertaining and funny.

The story follows two children who find their grandmother (the titular Halmoni) has disappeared, and follow her into a magical world inspired by Korean folklore. The characters of this world speak Korean, bu
Colona Public Library
This book is expressive, colorful, and magical! Based on some Koren folk lore, two siblings are looking for their grandmother and find themselves in a different land! This book is very cute and fun, it has a Alice in Wonderland feel to it. Be sure that you read the back for the folk-lore explanations, translations, and to learn more about the author! ~Ashley

(view spoiler)
Amanda [Novel Addiction]
Very cute.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love the connections to Korean folktales. The illustrations are so rich and interesting.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful artwork, cute story.
Becky B
Two kids arrive at Halmoni's house (grandma's house) but can't find her anywhere. They do find a strange door though, and traveling through it takes them to an old folklore version of Korea filled with a clever rabbit, some hungry goblins, a conniving tiger, and sly fox. Can they find Halmoni and make it out when everyone speaks only Korean...and really fast at that so they can hardly understand?

This was a fun adventure with Korean folklore characters and a grandma who may have some big secrets
Kadence Aldrich
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: my siblings
Recommended to Kadence by: my friend because she knew i like Korean stuff
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What is it like to be bicultural? What do you keep when you move to a completely new country? I love how the 2 grandchildren learn about folk characters in their search for Halmoni (grandmother), but don't understand the Korean (written in Korean), and the Korean-style of gorgeous landscape that they wander through is very evocative. They even play the Korean version of rock/paper/scissors! End notes explain the stock characters, and translate the Korean. The end papers give what happened to Hal ...more
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: k-3rd grade
Epilogue and prologue on the end papers so be sure to start and end with them. While there is text, there is much to be discovered in the artwork for telling the story. This is required on some pages which are wordless, but also gives you the opportunity on pages with the text in Korean. There are translations at the back which add to the humor once you know what was really said, but the context gives you the meaning without those translations--still, I appreciated them and without them you woul ...more
I would love to see this book recognized with an award, I believe it is truly distinguished. Graphic novel/picture book morph with rich detailed illustrations that incorporates Korean text and folktale elements. Absolutely lovely. The story actually begins and ends with the endpaper illustrations. Illustrations provide many details that the spare text does not -- or that is provided in the Korean text. There is a "cheat sheet" at the end with translations of the Korean phrases, as well as inform ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, the animals and people are given a soft volume and the landscapes are intimate and vibrant. The story proceeds at a good pace, usually broken up by page turning, but sometimes there are pages where action takes place on the top and bottom panels simultaneously. Exists in a sweet spot between picture book and comic, so it could be an ambitious read aloud or something for kid to read to theirself.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, ya
A beautiful graphic novel about Korean folktales and the bravery of a couple of kids. Noona and Joon arrive at their grandma's house and find her missing. Instead they find something new, a mysterious doorway that leads to another land. Following tracks they encounter a rabbit who gives them a magical back scratcher, goblins who show them a short cut and finally encounter a tiger and a fox fighting over grandma's soup. How will they defeat the tiger and where is their grandma!?

It's a fun story a
Michelle Arredondo
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book!! You'll fall in love with the illustrations immediately and if nothing else. Beautiful and intricate detail...whimsical and rich....each page opened my eyes to the imagination of such a gorgeous tale, strange and captivating....something out of a dream.

Where's Halmoni? by Julie Kim is one of the most unique children's picture books I have read. I LOVE strange and haunting children's books. This was it. A young Korean brother and sister looking for their missing grandmothe
Hααlεч ♥ Fιѕнεя ♥ she\her
I really enjoyed the art style of this book.
I didn't realize that there was a guide of what the characters were saying until after I'd finished the book.
This one is definitely one for older kids that are able to understand the transitions between illustrations since the layout is more like a comic/ graphic novel.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I love this book so much. When the lady in the children's section of Barnes and Noble handed it to me in response to my shot-in-the-dark question, "You don't happen to have books in Korean, do you? I see the Spanish section...," I was absolutely delighted. What a find!

The story begins and ends on the end paper, with the halmoni (grandma). A noona (older sister) and younger brother visit their halmoni (grandma)'s house only to find that she's missing. They go through the door she added in search
Linda Epach
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won
"Where's Halmoni?" by Julie Kim is a children's picture book where two young Korean-American children go looking for their missing grandmother. Stepping thru the magical doors in her home they discover a world inspired by traditional Korean folklore, complete with a clever rabbit, mischievous goblins (dokkebi), a greedy tiger, and a clever fox. The folktale-inspired characters speak in Korean (translations are included in the back of the book) and I think children unfamiliar with Asian languages ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways-print
This is a gorgeous book. I'm a collector of children's books, and I also enter a lot of Goodreads giveaways. Usually I just read a book, review it, and pass it along to someone else, but this one is definitely going into my collection. For those reading it to children, I think that it would spark some interesting discussions. However, for me the pleasure in this book is that it is visually beautiful. The story is told just as much in the illustrations as in the dialogue, or more so; and the pict ...more
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