Author: Yumi Heo
Genre: Folktale / Korea/ Family / Manners
Year Published: 1996
Year Read: 1997
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Content Rating: Ages 4+ (Death of a Parent)
I have read many folktales from Russia, China, and Africa, but never have I heard a folktale from Korea. While I was searching for some children’s books in the library, I stumbled upon a book called “The Green Frogs.” At first, I thought that this was going to be a comedic story; however, I was awed at how serious yet true this story really is. “The Green Frogs” is a great story about facing the trials that each parent goes through whenever their child misbehaves and the guilty conscious that the child suffers through whenever their parents are gone. Since, this story has many Korean aspects; it is surely to be another classic folktale from around the world.
Yumi Heo does an excellent job at retelling and illustrating the escapades of the two green frogs and their mother. Yumi Heo’s retelling of an ancient Korean folktale has a great moral about the consequences of disobeying your parents as the green frogs regretted the fact that they have caused their mother nothing but grief over the years and the somewhat sad realization that Mother Frog never knew that her sons had listen to her for once in their lives. Yumi Heo’s illustrations are as creative as they are simplistic. The frogs are displayed with rounded heads and large mouths and Heo adds an assortment of plants and flies on the background to give the story a chaotic sense since the two frogs are actually chaotic throughout the entire story.
“The Green Frogs” is a fantastic Korean folktale about the importance of listening to your parents and the reality that a child would face whenever their parent passes away and they spend most of their lives regretting all the horrible acts they have committed against their parent. This book is extremely pleasant to read and is appropriate for children ages four and over, even though this book does discuss the death of a parent and how it has affected to the sons in this story.