Sora's Seashells: A Name Is a Gift to Be Treasured (Hardcover)
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A lyrical narration and luminous illustrations tell an uplifting intergenerational story of kindness and confidence, loss and remembrance, with resonance for any child who feels other-than.
“Sora means ‘seashell’ in Korean,” her mother said. “Halmoni always said finding a perfect shell is like receiving a wonderful gift. That’s why she suggested we name you Sora.”
Every summer, when Sora’s Halmoni, or grandmother, visits from South Korea, the two of them take the bus to the beach to search for seashells. While Sora likes to take all of them back with her, Halmoni always leaves the prettiest shell for someone else to find and treasure. As summer turns to fall, Halmoni returns home and Sora starts kindergarten, where some of the kids tease her about her “weird” name. One day, Sora’s parents receive a sad call about her grandmother, and Sora feels more lost than ever about who she is and how she fits in. But when her parents reveal the origin of her name, Sora channels a newfound pride and, inspired by Halmoni, combats her peers’ hurtful comments by sharing her shells with everyone in her class. This story, told by Helena Ku Rhee and illustrated by Stella Lim, based on art by Ji-Hyuk Kim, speaks to the prevailing power of kindness and will resonate with anyone who’s been made to feel different.
About the Author
Helena Ku Rhee grew up in Los Angeles and has lived in various parts of the United States, Asia, and Europe. She is the author of the picture books Rosa's Song and The Paper Kingdom, both illustrated by Pascal Campion, and The Turtle Ship, illustrated by Colleen Kong-Savage. Helena Ku Rhee currently lives in Los Angeles.
Stella Lim studied fine art and graduated from Kingston University. She based her work for Sora’s Seashells on sketches from Ji-Hyuk Kim. Stella Lim lives with her family in Seoul, South Korea.
Ji-Hyuk Kim is the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift to Me by Ainsley Earhardt as well as many book jackets and covers. Ji-Hyuk Kim lives in South Korea.
In her grief, a child finds new meaning in a cherished activity. . . . The illustrators deftly layer shadows and blur boundaries between colors, evoking the feeling of a warm memory. . . . A tender tale of loss and love.
In this poignant picture book, Rhee unspools an uplifting tale with soothing narration that harmonizes beautifully with Lim’s stunning watercolor art. The blending of paint creates shadows to accentuate Sora’s grief over her Halmoni and the loneliness she feels at school. Young readers will find Sora’s confidence empowering and see that her story honors the strengths in both kindness and confidence.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books