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The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story

Written by Tina Cho & illustrated by Jess X. Snow
Published by Kokila
4.5 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.5 / 5.0
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Prices as of Oct 30
Retail Price
used $17.99
Aug 4, 2020
Publication Date
Target Age

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

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.

What Kind of Book is The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

Readerly Mom
Bay Area mother of two, world traveler, book lover, picky reader
5.0 / 7.0

The pictures! The colors! The story is great, but the illustrations are what make this book breathtaking. It could work well for a lot of ages, but I’m especially excited to share it with my ocean-loving preschooler.

The Notorious RAD
Mom of 1. Wife to 1. #1.
4.0 / 7.0

The text is really small and a bit hard to read but an interesting story about sea urchin divers.

Book Lists That Include The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story

Book Topics › Korean
Children's Books About Korean
Book Topics › multigenerational
Children's Books About Multigenerational
Book Topics › diving
Children's Books About Diving
Book Topics › girls and women
Children's Books About Girls And Women
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Who Wrote The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story

Tina Cho
Verified creative

Tina Cho is the author of four picture books– Rice from Heaven: The Secret Mission to Feed North Koreans (Little Bee Books/Bonnier Publishing August 2018), Korean Celebrations (forthcoming Tuttle 2019), Breakfast with Jesus (forthcoming Harvest House 2020), and a new sale yet to be announced. Although she grew up and taught in the United States, she currently lives in South Korea with her husband and two children while teaching at an international school.Chocolate and Dr. Pepper are two things that keep her fueled as she writes.

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Who Illustrated The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story

What Has Tina Cho Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Tina know that you want more details about The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story! Try tweeting Tina on twitter (@tinamcho) or messaging Tina on instagram (@tinamcho).

What Has Jess X. Snow Said About This Book

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Jess know that you want more details about The Ocean Calls: A Mermaid Haenyeo Story!

Tina Cho's Book Dedication

Dedicated to the hardworking haenyeo of South Korea

Jess X. Snow's Book Dedication

Dedicated to the water, islands, and all of their protectors

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Book Details

Publication Date:
August 4, 2020
Text Details:
Text set in Plantin MT Infant
Illustration Details:
The art for this book was created digitally with hand-painted textures and line work.
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
WorldCat Number (OCLC):

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