A very positive review of our Korean children’s picture book Waiting for Mummy on reviewer Susan Whelan’s Reading Upside Down blog. Among other things, she has this to say about a book she describes as ‘amazing’:
This book is beautiful and it is certainly likely to get a discussion going, if only about how the author and illustrator connect so powerfully with our emotions … the book is a beautiful story to share with children.
Whelan also focuses on the story’s happy resolution, which has caused consternation for some adult readers. It is subtle, but I find kids tend to get it and leave the book satisfied while adults tend not to get it and think the book is therefore unremittingly bleak. Perhaps this has something to do with young kids’ better visual literacy – they tend to stay on a page until they find the visual cue to proceed. Adults tend to move quicker, relying more on the text to guide them.
Still, as Susan notes, once you’ve found the happy ending, the book becomes all the more satisfying. I still recall my visit to the Seoul International Book Fair in 2005, where I first saw this extraordinary book. Other publishers around the world have now picked up on it too, which is great. It’s one of my very favourite Wilkins Farago books.