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Korean Publishers


SpringSunshine Publishing Co.

Warm Spring Sunshine for Every Child




SpringSunshine Publishing Co. is a publishing house specializing in children’s and young adult books. It has been devoted to delivering stories to its readers by publishing about 150 titles over the past 11 years since it was established in 2012. While SpringSunshine Publishing Co. covers heartwarming stories for children like the spring sunlight, it has also been making books that discuss social issues or problems that we need to ponder. It also actively communicates with readers by attending numerous events and spreads the philosophical idea embedded in the books to society by donating its profits and books to children through various channels. Following is an interview with SpringSunshine Publishing Co., which has been doing its best to make the world a healthier and happier place for children to live in.


휴먼큐브 로고

Logo of SpringSunshine Publishing Co.



It’s an honor for us to be with you on K-Book Trends. Please introduce yourself to our international subscribers along with the meaning of the company’s name.


“Spring sunshine that awakens healthy ideas and happy hearts.”
Spring sunshine. People say the name is “a beautiful name for a children’s book publisher” when they hear it for the first time. It is the “sunshine” that thaws the frozen soil in Spring and welcomes sprouts to the world. The name “Spring Sunshine” reflects our hope to stay by children’s sides with the warmth of the “sunshine” that embraces them, rather than being the bright light that illuminates the world.
Children have their own worlds. We want to stay alongside them as they think and grow up healthy and sturdy to be happy beings that delicately care for each other in their worlds. We hope that SpringSunshine Publishing Co.’s modest and right-minded books accompany our children readers as warm sunshine that enlightens healthy ideas and happy minds.


SpringSunshine Publishing Co. has published many books for children and young adults. And your books have also come under the spotlight recently as one was designated as the book of the year at the Jeonju Reading Festival, the book chosen by the International Board on Books for Young People in Korea (KBBY), and the book selected by the Korean Children’s Book Association. It seems that such fine books could be born thanks to the keen insight of SpringSunshine Publishing Co.. Is there a particular standard or value that you stick to when choosing a manuscript for publication?


SpringSunshine Publishing Co.’s books are largely based on two pillars: “literature” that stimulates children’s emotional feelings and awakens happy minds, and “knowledge” that enlightens healthy ideas. We have a clear standard for choosing manuscripts – we try to choose stories that reflect children of today or that encourage children to build up their own philosophy of life, which is a necessary step. For children’s literature, including picture books, we first look at whether the author has a clear message to deliver, and whether it is adequate for a children’s book. We mainly consider whether the topics match the spirit of the time, such as healthy self-reflection, concerns about people and society, being myself, senses about discrimination, and gender sensitivity. In regards to liberal arts books for children, we mainly choose topics that can help children to broaden and diversify their viewpoint towards the world. It’s exciting to meet manuscripts that guide children to create their own philosophy by learning basic principles, concepts, and rules. The subjects covered in picture books and children’s books then expand into young adult books.



We pursue to make books that tell children’s stories or books
that help children to create their own philosophy.



While SpringSunshine Publishing Co. is a small publisher, you have been publishing more than ten titles a year. What’s the secret and driver behind it?


Well, we have published about 150 titles as of June this year, and we have just wrapped up preparing for 13 more titles this month. Wow, we have been working hard! It might sound like a cliche, but it’s all thanks to the authors who send us good manuscripts and the great collaboration of focused editors and designers. The members of SpringSunshine Publishing Co. are all book lovers full of curiosity. And that’s why we buy interesting books newly published by other publishers, read them together, and debate about them, to find our way of development.
We are interested in another subject these days. Well, authors talk about their stories in their own way of speaking within the big boundary of a book. As we prefer books with a clear storyline, we are mulling over how to discover image-based or design-based picture books – the mainstream these days – and transform them into our style, and how to develop books in the young adult genre which has been mainly relying on foreign books.
Books sometimes have patterns, and sometimes don’t, just like the extraordinary imagination of children that do not obey adults. Making new books – those we come across without expectation – always makes our hearts beat and feel excited.


You have been publishing diverse books through various series. Please introduce to use some of the unique series of yours.


SpringSunshine Publishing Co.’s “literature” mainly features stories about understanding myself and living along with our neighbors. The best examples are the following: the Whole Picturebook series, which targets all age groups, the Sunshine Picturebook series, which is a collection of fine picture books chosen from around the world, the Sprout Picturebooks series, which is a compilation of traditional fairy tales and classic picture books, and the Springsunshine Chapter Books series.
Our early picture books were mainly foreign books about relatively profound topics, such as How is a City Made? (Une cité), which touches upon social issues that the development-focused modern society is experiencing, Friendly Tiger Kale’s Happy Stripe Gift (Die Sache mit den Tigerstreifen), in which friendly tiger Kale talks about the beauty of sharing, Tomorrow’s Zoo (On commence demain), which looks at animal rights from the perspective of animal protection and environmental recovery, Disco!, which discusses gender diversity and respect, and The Kid Above the Ceiling (POJKEN I TAKET), which talks about a different “way of life,” going beyond the concept of difference. These books, which we made one after another with growing skills, have become the Sunshine Picturebook series.
The Sunshine Picturebook series has been undergoing changes these days. There are more books by Korean writers, and the subjects are becoming lighter. The series comprises about 50 books as of today, including The Three Ducklings that Read The Ugly Duckling, which teaches the “value of being yourself,” going beyond the lesson and virtues pinpointed in The Ugly Duckling by Andersen, Special Autumn, which takes a detailed and heartwarming look at how a stray dog becomes a family member, It’s No Lie, Trust Me!, which is full of a child’s bluffs that remind you of the thrilling first crush in life, The Kim Cheolsoo Bread, which is about a chaotic party of a mom and her son baking a bread, You Won’t Know, Mom!, which features the bond between a mom and her daughter familiar to everyone, It’s My First Day of School, which soothes the anxious hearts of children, and Don’t Worry About Me, which is about the sweet but bitter heart of a child who takes care of her mother.


『특별한 가을』

 『진짜 진짜 거짓말 아니야!』


Special Autumn, It’s No Lie, Trust Me!, The Kim Cheolsoo Bread



In the winter of 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak, our picture books faced a crucial turning point. We launched the Whole Picturebook series, which pursues picture books for all age groups, from 1-year-old to 100-year-old, by focusing on the meaning of the Korean word “on,” which means “every” and “all.” The series is a collection of picture books containing insights on living life at your own pace for children and adults to read together. They help adults to view the world from an adult’s perspective, and children to view the world from a child’s perspective.
The rather serious subjects about human lives that began in picture books are connected to children’s and adolescent literature. For example, the book Sunwoo and Namu makes you think about the boundary between violence and prank, and the book Kkamdol next to Kongjjang next to Maengmul, which was selected as the Book of Guro in 2022, talks about heartwarming stories about our neighborhoods. Also, including the book The Hawk’s Counselling Center, which consoles children with concerns and troubles, and the book The Lost Winter Vacation, which was chosen by teacher Lee Hyeon as the book she wants to present to her younger self, we are adding new titles to the children’s and young adult literature.
Another pillar of SpringSunshine Publishing Co. is the unique “liberal arts books.” The representative series is the A Step into the World series, which helps children to cultivate diverse cultural knowledge so that they can grow up to become global leaders. The series, including the book The International Organizations that Run the World, which explains about 18 international organizations that children should know, Play and Learn About Festivals Around the World (2 volumes), which teaches children about different cultures around the world through festivals, Markets Around the World, which teaches about society and economy through traditional markets, I Want to Learn about Revolution!, which reflects the hope to better the world, and Prizes in the World, which looks at the efforts of people who have made the world more valuable, takes various approach to the field of humanities in our society and culture.


『선우와 나무군』

『잃어버린 겨울 방학』

『세계를 움직이는 국제기구』

Sunwoo and Namu, The Lost Winter Vacation, and The International Organizations that Run the World



We heard that SpringSunshine Publishing Co. has been donating a part of the profits to children. You have also donated books to libraries and facilities several times. What made you decide to make such donations, and how are things going these days?


Our books discuss various social issues, including human rights, the environment, respecting diversity, solidarity, peace, and refugees, based on self-reflection. Our donation is a way of practicing the spirit of the books that we make.
The donations first began with the idea that we must return some of our profits to children as we made them with children’s books. So, since the first book we published, we have been donating 2% of our profits to the education and growth of children around the world. The amount is increasing as we are adding more books to our line-up, but our genuine hope is to leave no children behind the economic barrier. Meanwhile, we have also been sending books to children in culturally less developed regions in cooperation with the Friends of Public Library in Korea.



Donation is a way of practicing the spirit of our books.



The book I’m Pretty? by Hwang In-Chan and Lee Myeong-Ae was exported to Japan recently. Can you please introduce us to the book? Also, what do you think about the export, and what is the response like in the Japanese market?


The book I’m Pretty? published in 2022 was our first export case. This is a picture book that draws empathy from both children and adults through the beautiful, refreshing description of the two writers – poet Hwang In-Chan and writer Lee Myeong-Ae, as they reinterpret the process of rediscovering the beauty of daily life and objects that we pass by without noticing. It was exported to Japan right after it was designated as the “first book in summer” and was showcased at the Seoul International Book Fair (SIBF). We kind of felt emotionally overwhelmed as we got an offer from Japan immediately after the book was published.
Poet Hwang In-Chan’s work was the first export with the unique characteristic that it was a poem collection, and writer Lee Myeong-Ae was already a famous figure in Japan. There will be an exhibition tour across Japan. Looking at the poem collection showing up on picture book readers’ Social Media these days, which is a year after its publication, it seems that people’s scope of reading is diversifying as they become fans of various writers.
They say that the book I’m Pretty? drew an explosive response from Japanese editors. We think the enthusiasm was driven by the illustration of a spring day on the cover, which was familiar among Japanese readers. Before the Japanese edition was published, the translator and poet Hwang In-Chan exchanged so many e-mails to decide how to translate the sentence “I’m pretty?” which appears throughout the book, because of its nuance. The translator eventually visited Korea at the end of 2022 and met the poet, and they had long discussions about the nuanced differences between Korean and foreign languages. We became curious about how the phrase “I’m pretty?” would be translated into other language versions. We were also very impressed by poet Hwang In-Chan’s effort as he spent much time deciding which word to use for which sentence.


* K-Book Trends Vol. 38 – Interview with author Lee Myeong-Ae


『내가 예쁘다고?』의 한국어판 표지

『내가 예쁘다고?』의 일본어판 표지

Korean and Japanese covers of I’m Pretty?



You have been meeting your readers through various channels, such as meet & greets and book-related events. Is there a reason for meeting readers on a steady basis? Also, was there any incident that you remember the most from those meetings?


The fastest channel to meet readers would be using online media like blogs, Instagram, and Facebook, where I can have instant Q&As with them. Adding to this, SpringSunshine Publishing Co. travels wherever our readers are to hear their voices in person. We have been participating in big book fairs like the Seoul International Book Fair, Seoul Educare & Kids Fair, and the Korea Reading Festival, as well as all types of book fairs, regardless of their size, across the country, talking about books with readers in person.
It reminds us of a reader we met at one of the events. There, she combed through the books on display and chose one book. Then, in the next year, she came and carefully chose one or two books again. It repeated for 7 years, and her child went to elementary school and had two younger siblings. SpringSunshine Publishing Co. has also grown up along with them. We will never forget her.
Also, though we didn’t intend, many readers we met at reading festivals said that our books have this “life philosophy.” They said the books were about topics that are never light to be pushed away after a single read. They added that the books are like baguettes, which are hard to chew but soon become savory with time, rather than custard that gives instant sweetness as soon as it enters your mouth. Magical books, they said, and we can’t just forget it.


What books of yours do you want to introduce to our international readers?


The book Fox-fur Muffler, which was selected for publication at the “Un-printed Idea” event hosted by the Hyundai Museum of Kids’ Books & Art, attempts to make a convergence of a book, video, and AR genre, by hiding a new story in an augmented reality video. The story begins in a girl’s voice from the front, and in a fox’s voice in the back, and the two meet in the middle. It’s about the size of two picture books combined. In particular, if you download the application and light up certain scenes in the book, a video starts – it was the first attempt in the world of picture books. Another book selected by the “Un-printed Idea” was At the Museum, a text-less picture book that delivers a requiem-like story to the animals stuffed in a natural history museum.
We would also like to introduce Being Together, the first book of the new Little Citizen School series. The core keywords of SpringSunshine Publishing Co.’s books are “peace” and “solidarity.” Even when we are asleep, we are living “together” with so many people working in other parts of the world as well as animals in nature in this big house called “Earth.” We are all living our own life in our own space, but we are ultimately connected to each other. So, we hope to stay by the children’s sides so they can grow step by step as global citizens.


『내가 예쁘다고?』의 한국어판 표지

『내가 예쁘다고?』의 일본어판 표지

『내가 예쁘다고?』의 일본어판 표지

Fox-fur Muffler, At the Museum, Being Together



We look forward to your next move, as SpringSunshine Publishing Co. continues to publish heart-warming stories. What are your future plans or goals?


We are carrying out some special projects this year. First is the picture book project “Beautiful Ocean,” jointly conducted by the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST). The ocean is much closer to us than the universe, but there’s actually not much known about it. We aim to talk about the stories of the researchers who have devoted their entire life to various research about the ocean through beautiful picture books. This project, which began in 2022, is planning to publish Grandpa Bulgyhead Wrasse’s Underwater Trip (working title), a picture book featuring the ocean underneath Dokdo Island. And we are thinking of continuously publishing picture books about various subjects, like mudflats, marine robots, climate crisis, and people working at sea. Another special work is a beautiful picture book based on “King Jeongjo’s Visit to Hwaseong Fortress,” a picture from the King Jeongjo era. Professor Yoon Min-yong, a Ph.D. in Korean Studies, and Ewha, a folk tale artist, are putting the finishing touches on a picture book that has been in the works for over three years.
In the longer term, we want to grow more so that the Whole Picturebook series, which has settled quite well today, can meet more readers. We are also planning to work on the new Little Citizen School series so that it can be close friends with children, and to complete the Korean young adult fiction series with good quality, which has just released its first volume.




#SpringSunshine Publishing Co.#Picture book#I’m Pretty?#Child#Young Adult
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