This adorable picture book is a wonderful blend of Richard Scarry and Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, from a Korean American perspective. Yoomi is looking forward to Sunday Funday but everything seems to go wrong from the very moment she wakes up. No cartoons, no favorite breakfast, no favorite shirt to wear — and that’s even before she leaves the house! Surely, things will get better once she arrives in Koreatown with her dad for a visit to the shops and to grandma… won’t they?
Teaching the value of perseverance and flexibility, Sunday Funday In Koreatown embroiders on its universal themes with details that lovingly highlight the culture of the Korean diaspora in a way that embraces both readers already familiar with the culture or otherwise. I really enjoyed following along with Yoomi’s day and especially appreciated the recipe for kimbap at the end! My twins ADORED this book. As they’re both cat people — in more senses than one, as my youngest especially sometimes behaves more like a sentient feline than a semi-feral child — their sense of identification with Yoomi and the rest of her cat family was high. This book was perfect for reading aloud and captured their attention from start to finish. My ten year-old read this on his own, ofc, and rated it quite highly. “4.5 stars!” he chirps, while perched on my lap, typing away at his own writing assignment (yes, I am twisted in my office chair to write rn. Yes, this is a very awkward position to type from.)
I love how Aram Kim uses this series to casually incorporate Korean American culture into contemporary children’s literature, showing how to do it in a way that’s wildly entertaining while being respectful both to her people and to young readers. It’s another great book for Asian American Pacific Islander heritage month, and one I’m so pleased to have on my family’s shelves.
Sunday Funday In Koreatown by Aram Kim was published March 16 2021 by Holiday House and is available from all good booksellers, including