This month, I’m sharing several books to get your child ready for school. If you have a child worried about starting Kindergarten or maybe you have a preschooler, either way, I’ll be sharing books to help get your kids excited for the next school year. Click HERE to see all the books for Back to School.
By: Helena Ku Rhee
Illustrated by: Stella Lim and Ji-Hyuk Kim
Published: May 9, 2023
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Every summer, Sora’s grandmother comes to visit her from far away. They go to the beach to find the prettiest shells. Sora is surprised when her grandmother leaves the prettiest shell on a bench for someone else to find. When summer is over, Sora starts kindergarten but finds herself a target for bullies because of her name. When Sora and her parents receive sad news about her grandmother, Sora decides to honor her in the best way.
One of my favorite children’s books of 2022 was Helena Ku Rhee’s book, ROSA’S SONG. She seems to understand children’s feelings and knows how to heal broken hearts with her evocative stories. A children’s relationship with a grandparent is special and Sora’s sadness is overwhelming at first, but a trip to the beach with her parents gives Sora the perfect idea for sharing her grandmother with others.
The side story of Sora struggling to fit in at her school offers guidance for other kids who feel left out or different. Themes of grief, feeling different, generosity, and kindness will resonate with kids and adults and this book is a definite winner for me.
Helena Ku Rhee grew up in Los Angeles and has lived in various parts of the United States, Asia, and Europe. She is the author of the picture books The Paper Kingdom and Rosa’s Song, both illustrated by Pascal Campion, and The Turtle Ship, illustrated by Colleen Kong-Savage. Helena Ku Rhee currently lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at helenakrhee.com.
Stella Lim studied fine art and graduated from Kingston University. She based her work for Sora’s Seashells on sketches from Ji-Hyuk Kim. Stella Lim lives with her family in Seoul, South Korea.
Ji-Hyuk Kim is the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift to Me by Ainsley Earhardt as well as many book jackets and covers. Ji-Hyuk Kim lives in South Korea.