Behind the Mask
By Yangsook Choi
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374305222, 40pp.)
Publication Date: October 3, 2006
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Halloween is coming. “What are you going to be?” the children ask one another. Kimin says he will be his grandfather. “Going as an old man is not very scary,” they tease. What the children don’t know is that Kimin’s grandfather was a Korean mask dancer. And Kimin doesn’t know that the mask holds a secret for him.
With vibrant illustrations, Yangsook Choi joins Korean and American folk traditions in her story about a boy who finds a link to his grandfather, behind the mask. Behind the Mask is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
YANGSOOK CHOI grew up in Korea and currently lives in New York City. In addition to her collaborations with Milly Lee - Nim and the War Effort, an ALA Notable Book; Earthquake, an NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies; and, most recently, Landed - Ms. Choi wrote and illustrated Peach Heaven.
"Satisfying. Choi's text-and-image layouts and cross-generational subject matter recall Allen Say's work on heritage." --Publishers Weekly "A unique look at Halloween, this is a comforting story about death and some of the traditions of Korean culture." --Kirkus Reviews "An interesting fusion of cultures in a story appealing to children." --Booklist "The . . . story of a tentative, solitary boy who makes the shy person's great discovery: put on a mask and you are liberated into sociability. . . the old man and the tuna dance down the road and into friendship." --The New York Times Book Review "An evocative look at a Korean tradition and an interesting intergenerational and multicultural story for Halloween." --School Library Journal