An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

The Best Korean Kids Books

Looking for the best Korean books?
Share this list
Add to list
Let's Go to Taekwondo!: A Story about Persistence, Bravery, and Breaking Boards
Written & illustrated by Aram Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Yoomi wants a yellow belt. But she’s afraid to break the board. Grandma to the rescue!

Yoomi and her friends are ready to take on the test for their yellow belts in taekwondo. But Yoomi is afraid to break a board. Meanwhile, Grandma is struggling to learn something new, too.

But Yoomi and Grandma encourage and inspire each other. Yoomi discovers how, with persistence, focus, deep breathing, and above all, a loving Grandma, even the toughest challenges can be overcome.

This companion to No Kimchi for Me emphasizes self-confidence, determination, and the value of family. Backmatter about taekwondo, including some Korean vocabulary, is included.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Add to list
A Piece of Home
Written by Jeri Watts & illustrated by Hyewon Yum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

“When Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home. His eyes are not big and round like his classmates, and he can’t understand anything the teacher says, even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly at him. As he lies in bed at night, the sky seems smaller and darker. But little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English words and make friends on the playground. And one day he is invited to a classmate’s house, where he sees a flower he knows from his garden in Korea, “mugunghwa,” or Rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him and Hee Jun is happy to bring a shoot to his grandmother to plant a “piece of home” in their new garden.”–Provided by publisher.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$12.39
Used $4.57
Prices as of Sep 18
Add to list
Tiny Feet Between the Mountains
Written & illustrated by Hanna Cha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Soe-in is a tiny child in a village full of large people. She struggles with completing chores due to her size, but she never gives up. One day, when the sky grows dark and full of smoke, Soe-in volunteers to travel into the tall mountains to investigate. She’s surprised to find a spirit tiger there and learn he has swallowed the sun by mistake! To help the spirit tiger and her village, Soe-in must come up with a clever idea to solve this gigantic problem. And while she’s at it, she just may prove that the smallest people often have the biggest, bravest hearts.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$12.79
Used $5.67
Prices as of Sep 18
Add to list
The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story
Written by Tina Cho & illustrated by Jess X. Snow
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A breathtaking picture book featuring a Korean girl and her haenyeo (free diving) grandmother about intergenerational bonds, finding courage in the face of fear, and connecting with our natural world.

Dayeon wants to be a haenyeo just like Grandma. The haenyeo dive off the coast of Jeju Island to pluck treasures from the sea–generations of Korean women have done so for centuries. To Dayeon, the haenyeo are as strong and graceful as mermaids. To give her strength, Dayeon eats Grandma’s abalone porridge. She practices holding her breath while they do the dishes. And when Grandma suits up for her next dive, Dayeon grabs her suit, flippers, and goggles. A scary memory of the sea keeps Dayeon clinging to the shore, but with Grandma’s guidance, Dayeon comes to appreciate the ocean’s many gifts.

Tina Cho’s The Ocean Calls, with luminous illustrations by muralist Jess X. Snow, is a classic in the making.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$17.99
Used $17.99
Prices as of Sep 18
Add to list
My Name Is Yoon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$13.79
Used $0.01
Prices as of Sep 18
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Let's Go to Taekwondo! - Yoomi wants a yellow belt. But she’s afraid to break the board. Grandma to the rescue! Yoomi and her friends are ready to take on the test for their yellow belts in taekwondo. But Yoomi is afraid to break a board. Meanwhile, Grandma is struggling to learn something new, too. But Yoomi and Grandma encourage and inspire each other. Yoomi discovers how, with persistence, focus, deep breathing, and above all, a loving Grandma, even the toughest challenges can be overcome. This companion to No Kimchi for Me emphasizes self-confidence, determination, and the value of family. Backmatter about taekwondo, including some Korean vocabulary, is included. A Junior Library Guild Selection

  • Rice from Heaven - Rice from Heaven is a true story about compassion and bravery as a young girl and her community in South Korea help deliver rice via balloons to the starving and oppressed people in North Korea. “We reach a place where mountains become a wall. A wall so high, no one dares to climb. Beyond that wall and across the sea live children just like me, except they do not have food to eat.” Yoori lives in South Korea and doesn’t know what North Korea is like, but her father (Appa) does. Appa grew up in North Korea, where he did not have enough food to eat. Starving, he fled to South Korea in search of a better life. Yoori doesn’t know how she can help as she’s only a little “grain of rice” herself, but Appa tells her that they can secretly help the starving people by sending special balloons that carry rice over the border. Villagers glare and grumble, and children protest feeding the enemy, but Yoori doesn’t back down. She has to help. People right over the border don’t have food. No rice, and no green fields. With renewed spirit, volunteers gather in groups, fill the balloons with air, and tie the Styrofoam containers filled with rice to the tails of the balloons. With a little push, the balloons soar up and over the border, carrying rice in the darkness of the night over to North Korea.

  • Pigling: A Cinderella Story - From a life filled with heartache and hardship, comes an unmatched beauty destined for a fairy-tale ending: Pear Blossom, a young Korean girl, leads a happy life with her parents―until her mother dies and her father remarries. Her new wicked stepmother and stepsister make Pear Blossom the victim of their cruelty. They give her the nickname Pigling, or little pig, and do everything they can to torture her. But soon, magical creatures come to Pear Blossom’s aid―and one day, the girl meets a handsome magistrate. Will Pear Blossom’s luck change for the better? Or is she destined to suffer at her stepfamily’s hands forever?

  • Krista Kim-Bap - Krista and Jason have been best friends since preschool. It never mattered that he was a boy with reddish brown hair and she was “the Korean girl” at school. Now in fifth grade, everyone in their class is preparing their Heritage Month projects. Jason has always loved Krista’s Korean family, and particularly her mom’s cooking, but Krista is conflicted about being her school’s “Korean Ambassador.” She’s also worried about asking her intimidating grandma to teach the class how to cook their traditional kim-bap. Combine that with her new friends pulling her away from Jason, and Krista has a lot to deal with this year!

Add to list
Bee-Bim Bop!
Written by Linda Sue Park & illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$17.99
Used $17.99
Prices as of Sep 18
Add to list
Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Fresh Off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in this first novel in an adorable new chapter book series about Mindy Kim, a young Asian American girl who is starting a snack business!
Buy book
$5.99
Bookshop
$5.09
Amazon
$5.99
Used $5.99
Prices as of Sep 18
Add to list
Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade
Written by & illustrated by Dung Ho
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Fresh Off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in this second novel in an adorable new chapter book series about Mindy Kim, a young Asian American girl who is getting ready to celebrate Lunar New Year!
Buy book
$5.99
Bookshop
$5.09
Amazon
$5.99
Used $5.99
Prices as of Sep 18
Add to list
Dear Juno
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Juno’s grandmother writes in Korean and Juno writes in drawings, but that doesn’t mean they can’t exchange letters. From the photo his grandmother sends him, Juno can tell that she has a new cat. From the picture he makes for her, Juno’s grandmother can tell that he wants her to come for a visit. So she sends Juno a miniature plane, to let him know she’s on the way. This tender tale won the author an Ezra Jack Keats award, and is a perfect introduction to the concept of foreign cultures and far-off lands.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$6.99
Used $1.58
Prices as of Sep 18
Add to list
Project Mulberry
Written by Linda Sue Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

Julia Song and her friend Patrick would love to win a blue ribbon, maybe even two, at the state fair. They’ve always done projects together, and they work well as a team. This time, though, they’re having trouble coming up with just the right project. Then Julia’s mother offers a suggestion: They can raise silkworms, as she did when she was a girl in Korea. <p/> Patrick thinks it’s a great idea. Of course there are obstacles–for example, where will they get mulberry leaves, the only thing silkworms eat?–but nothing they can’t handle. <p/> Julia isn’t so sure. The club where kids do their projects is all about traditional American stuff, and raising silkworms just doesn’t fit in. Moreover, the author, Ms. Park, seems determined to make Julia’s life as complicated as possible, no matter how hard Julia tries to talk her out of it. <p/> In this contemporary novel, Linda Sue Park delivers a funny, lively story that illuminates both the process of writing a novel and the meaning of growing up American.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Sep 18

    Suggested Links