From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–When his friends ask him what he will be for Halloween, Korean-American Kimin tells them that he will be his grandfather. The children don't think that it will be very exciting to dress as an old man, but the boy knows better. Before he died, his grandfather had been a famous mask dancer in Korea, and Kimin has two boxes of costumes, photos, and memorabilia from his career. He picks a mask that had scared him years before when he had visited his grandfather and shows his friends some dance moves as they go trick-or-treating. The children go to his house and all end up dancing and looking at the beautiful masks. The illustrations in muted fall colors enhance the story beautifully, and include endpapers with the stylized masks depicted. This is an evocative look at a Korean tradition and an interesting intergenerational and multicultural story for Halloween.–Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
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A Korean American boy finds a unique way to celebrate Halloween in this original picture book. After his grandfather's death, Kimin misses him and feels a little afraid of the chests containing photos of his grandfather performing a traditional Korean mask dance as well as the clothes and frightening masks that he wore. Halloween approaches. When Kimin tells the other children that he will go as his grandpa, they laugh and joke about his choice. But when he dons the mask and robe on Halloween night, his costume and dance earn their respect. As Choi notes, Halloween is not just a time for scary costumes and candy, but also a time for honoring the dead. Ultimately, Kimin's unusual choice brings him closer to his grandfather. Quiet and well crafted, the story manages some subtle emotional shifts as well as the smooth weaving of one tradition into another. The author's note fills in more background about the mask dance. An interesting fusion of cultures in a story appealing to children. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved