Yoon and the Jade Bracelet
Publication Date: August 5, 2008
List Price: $18.99*
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It is Yoon's birthday and all she wants is a jump rope so she can play with the other girls in the school yard. Instead, Yoon's mother gives her a Korean storybook about a silly girl who is tricked by a tiger. Yoon also receives a jade bracelet that once belonged to her grandmother. The next day at school, a girl offers to teach Yoon how to jump rope, but for a price: she wants to borrow the jade bracelet. When Yoon tries to get her bracelet back, the girl swears it belongs to her. Yoon must use the lessons learned in her storybook and her "Shining Wisdom" to retrieve the precious keepsake.
In this third book featuring Yoon, lush impressionistic dreamscapes evoke a simple and timeless message: it is possible to trick a tiger.
"Yoon and the Jade Bracelet" is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
I remember my mother reading to me when I was two years old. My favorite book was about Cinderella. She wore a beautiful pink-and-white gown that looked like a great big birthday cake. I began writing my own stories and sharing them with my cousins when I was eight years old. When I was a teenager, I wrote a weekly column for a local newspaper. Later, I graduated from Rhode Island College with degrees in education and psychology.
Today I live with my husband in the peaceful, woodsy town of Glocester, Rhode Island. I have two grown sons, and I am a second-grade teacher. I love reading and writing stories about interesting characters -- people trying to find their place in life, people with hope in their hearts.
If you're born on this planet, you're set for a colorful life, whether you want it or not. I found myself in Eastern Europe, in southern Poland, in a little village with a weird name.
I don't remember making that decision.
The first thing I remember are the crows. Crows are to Poland what ravens are to London. The crows would hold daily conferences right in front of my house, spreading their black selves like a carpet over the grassy field. I'd run up to them and watch them rise like a shimmering giant, watch the sky swallow them up.
I wrote stories until it was decided that there was too much kissing going on--in the stories, of course, not in real life. I was forbidden to write any more. I drew pictures, of princesses mostly. As there were no objections, I kept at it all through elementary school, gymnasium, college, and right into my professional life.
While at elementary school, I really did believe I was a princess. Not the Disney kind, but one more along the lines of a Russian folktale, the princess lost and never found, waiting patiently for the day it was officially announced.
I entered the Lyceum of Art at fourteen and discovered it was full of princesses, as well as knights. Sometime around the third year of school it dawned on me that if I was the "lost and never found" kind of princess, there was no use waiting for the official announcement. So I climbed on top of my wardrobe to take a look at things from a different perspective and decided it was time to go to America.
I took my dog with me. My dog was very fond of eating toilet paper, and since we had no such commodity in Poland at the time, I figured he'd do better in America. Plus, I couldn't bear to leave him behind.
Gabi Swiatkowska was born in Tychy, Poland, and attended the Lyceum of Art in Bielsko-Biala, as well as the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
“Swiatkowska captures subtle changes of expression and signs of character in the faces and bodies of her figures.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This story . . . allows readers to discover aspects of Korean culture and to learn how a Korean-American child reconciles her two worlds.” —School Library Journal “The satisfying resolution is well earned and will bolster readers facing their own tricky schoolyard tigers.” —Horn Book
“Recorvits’ story will ring true to any child who’s ever dealt with a bully, while Swiatkowska’s expressive paintings bring further emotion to the tale.” —Scripps Howard News Service
“The accomplished art has a childlike naiveté that fits the gentle story.” —Booklist
“Beautifully written and illustrated in every way, this gentle yet powerful story provides an important lesson on bullies and honesty.” —The Santa Fe New Mexican