Korean Children’s Books Going Global

2020.11.02

Centering around Vietnam and Indonesia, Korea’s various children’s books are steadily being translated and released in the Southeast Asian publishing market. From picture books to children’s books, the genres are diverse. Let’s first take a look at picture books. <Hooray! Watermelon!>, <One Morning>, and <Dragonfly Letters> published by Gloyeon Ltd. were translated and published by publisher Kim Dong, a representative children's book publisher in Vietnam. Also, the picture book <Going Home> published by Dalgrimm (Yellowpig) was released by Nha Nam in Vietnam, and the picture book <Along the Road to Grandma’s House> by Grass and Wind Publishing is set to be translated and published. These children’s picture books are globally prominent and praised titles, which are anticipated to receive steady love from Southeast Asian children readers as well.

 

One Morning

Going Home

Along the Road to Grandma’s House

<One Morning>, <Going Home>, <Along the Road to Grandma’s House>

 

Meanwhile, <Robot Curo and Science> (3 volumes) by Hwang Moon-Sook and published by Flying Star are scheduled to be translated and published in Vietnam. Consisting of three volumes, this series describes unusual science stories for kids that have their first encounter with science as the A.I. robot Curo and main character Naro go through adventurers in their daily lives. It is a storytelling science series for children that helps children build a habit of examining science and learning science principles in textbooks.

 

<Robot Curo and Science>

 

In Indonesia, several titles of Korean publisher Byeolsoop are waiting for translation. One of them is <A Girl Jindalrae’s Puberty Party> by writer Song Ah-Joo and <The Battle of Hate Comments> by writer Lee Kyu-Hee. <A Girl Jindalrae’s Puberty Party> is a creative story that talks about the growth process of a 12-year-old girl named Jindalrae who just began going through puberty in 15 short stories. The unique episodes of girls of that age are quite intriguing. Meanwhile, <The Battle of Hate Comments> by Lee Kyu-Hee is a story about the Internet culture shared among children. The problems stemming from such a culture are connected to the social issue of bullying, and the book ultimately teaches young readers how to treat others with manners. In particular, it emphasizes how keeping manners when interacting with others is important by calling attention to “hate comments” that others' minds with lies and abusive language behind the Internet’s anonymity. Also, another title <Skateboard, Not Smartphone> by Song Ah-Joo and <My Robot Friend, Andy> by Park Hyun-Kyung are set to be translated and published in Indonesia as well.

 

A Girl Jindalrae’s Puberty Party

The Battle of Hate Comments

<A Girl Jindalrae’s Puberty Party>, <The Battle of Hate Comments>

 

In France, a “pop-up” book from writer Bae Joo-Hye was published, meeting local children readers. It is, <Chouette et Souris>. The interesting thing about the book is that the book was first planned and produced in Korea through a student support program of the Hankyong National University Design Cooperative Union. However, as its publication rights were sold to Bayard Editions, one of the top publishers in France, its French edition was released. Therefore, this title has now gotten the opportunity to be translated and exported to regions speaking other languages apart from France. The Hankyong National University Design Cooperative Union had first submitted the sample of <Chouette et Souris> to the Bologna Book Fair, where it had an in-depth conversation and negotiation with the publisher and signed a contract. The book was then published in October 2019 through the co-production program. This pop-up book has a significant meaning in that it has not only discovered talented creative thinkers but also provided an export opportunity for them.

 

'Chouette et Souris' published in France

<Chouette et Souris> published in France

 

 

 


Written by Joseph Lee (President of KL Management)

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