Korean childrens books – basic? Maybe not…

A few weeks ago my mum asked me if I wanted to go with her to London to see the family there. As if there were any other answer than a resounding yes! We quickly booked tickets, I studied like a mad person to avoid falling behind in grad school, and this past weekend we then went to see family and of course buy a few Korean things.

Until now I haven’t really read proper books. Entering that stage has been work-in-progress for a loooong time. Maybe this is because to be honest about my skills, I have an “okay” Korean foundation, but not a really great foundation. I have my moments, but whenever I picked up something that I might have read in my mothertongue or English, it was aleays too time consuming, and sometimes it was like a puzzle, trying to figure out the meaning of a sentence by deciphering the meaning of four words that each could mean five different things depending on the meaning of the other three unknown words. This has frustrated me to no end…

A while ago I vented my frustration with family and spoke to my mum about reading childrens books vs. books aiming at a slightly older audience/study books. Her stance was pretty clear: childrens’ books are not only about vocabulary. If I also want to learn even more about the culture, I must not skip the step of reading childrens’ books since they always contain “important lessons” that parents want to teach their children. How to teach children how to be a good child/responsible adult according to the Korean standards? Reading what Koreans read to their children is likely to shed a bit more light on what that means, and if they happen to read some of the same stories that I read as a child, well then that should tell me something too. True…

Also, once children reach the age where you can give them proper books rather than the ones that can survive a bit of chewing, the stories can both be great from an artistic perspective and make really good use of vocabulary. I have saved my old childrens’ books, and when my mum reads to my nephews, she will make a point of asking them about words that are a bit different/difficult/not considered part of daily use for a child or even some adults nowadays.

No point in asking for advice if not actually taking the response seriously so I bought three childrens’ books (and chopsticks, but that’s sort of off-topic :-))and I really cannot wait to read them. Picking out childrens books for myself was actually fun. I try to find good stories for my nephews so they will think I’m the coolest geeky aunt in the whole world, but it’s different when it’s for yourself.

I wanted to take pictures so you can see what I bought, but it is simply too dark (at 2pm!!!) to take good pictures because the weather is so dreadful today. Next post, promise 🙂

Whatever those TOPIK folks are conspiring about, I will be ready. And also enjoy the journey 🙂


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