Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Book Review: The Ocean Calls, A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho

The Ocean Calls, A Haenyeo Mermaid Story

Written by Tina Cho

Illustrated by Jess X. Snow

Kokila, An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC; August 2020

I was super excited to win a copy of The Ocean Calls, A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow, from Kathy Temean’s Writing and Illustrating website. You can read more from Kathy and check out her post at https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2020/07/21/book-giveaway-the-ocean-calls-by-tina-cho/ . Thank you, Kathy and Tina!

The Ocean Calls, A Haenyeo Mermaid Story is the fascinating story of women divers who use the skills passed down from generation to generation to dive and gather the fruits of the sea. Living on Jeju Island in South Korea, the mostly mature and elderly women dive into waters off the island, up to 30 meters deep. They do not use breathing equipment and can hold their breath up to two minutes! I am amazed!

The story focuses on Dayeon, a young girl, and her grandmother, one of the diving mermaids. Grandma is trying to encourage Dayeon and teach her the skills necessary to become a Haenyeo Mermaid. I love the way the young girl struggles with the fear of jumping into the wild ocean, even as she dreams of being able to do what she sees her grandmother doing.

This engaging story is delicious! I loved learning more about a new subject, one I had never heard about before. What an encouraging picture book, one that invites readers to explore a new world with their eyes, ears, and hearts!

Why I Love This Book:

~ The story is wonderful

~ The fascination I felt as I read about Haeynyeo Mermaids

~ The underwater world of women divers

~ The illustrations bursting with color and extra details

~ The setting on and off an island of South Korea

~ The history and the traditions of generations of courageous women

~ Fabulous backmatter

Amazon Blurb:

A breathtaking picture book featuring a Korean girl and her haenyeo (free diving) grandmother about intergenerational bonds, finding courage in the face of fear, and connecting with our natural world.

Dayeon wants to be a haenyeo just like Grandma. The haenyeo dive off the coast of Jeju Island to pluck treasures from the sea–generations of Korean women have done so for centuries. To Dayeon, the haenyeo are as strong and graceful as mermaids. To give her strength, Dayeon eats Grandma’s abalone porridge. She practices holding her breath while they do the dishes. And when Grandma suits up for her next dive, Dayeon grabs her suit, flippers, and goggles. A scary memory of the sea keeps Dayeon clinging to the shore, but with Grandma’s guidance, Dayeon comes to appreciate the ocean’s many gifts.

Tina Cho’s The Ocean Calls, with luminous illustrations by muralist Jess X. Snow, is a classic in the making.


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Welcome, November!

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I love November.

The scary stuff is gone. Pumpkins still hang out. Leaves whirl down and crunch underfoot. Nights and early mornings crisp any remaining plant life to bed. Birds flock and insects tuck in for the winter. November is perfect.

Also, let’s not forget Thanksgiving. When we lived in a house (bigger than the RV), I loved hosting Thanksgiving dinners. The good smells, tastes, and fun made the work all worthwhile. And after dinner, our traditional putting up and decorating a tree and watching a Christmas movie.

Notice I said “a” tree. Since I am a lover of Christmas trees, we usually had at least one in each room. Thanksgiving evening was just the harbinger of festivities in decor and traditional pastimes to follow.

AND November is my birthday. I’ve always had a fondness for my birthday month. So much fun anticipating not just my birthday, but also Thanksgiving with Christmas gaily tromping on its heels.

Apple crisp, pumpkin pie, juicy turkey, stuffed squash, toasty hot drinks. I guess I think and remember with my stomach. The nip in the air gives way to red noses and tingling fingertips. And if it’s to be perfect, the first snow falls. Just enough to whet my whistle.

November is also a time for me to focus on gratitude. Not only Thanksgiving Day, but each day of the month, I like to consider and remember the things for which I am thankful. God has been so good to me and my family. Giving thanks and naming the many blessings is the least I can do to honor Him.

Today, I am thankful for:

God and His provisions, my honey, my family, my veteran (our son), my RV (no matter how tiny), fall in all its glory, pumpkins, food, my health, friends, chocolate, our hunter kitty who keeps the fields free of tasty kitty morsels (mice and voles), warm clothes, music, and trees.

Which is your favorite month? How will you celebrate in November?

Blessings to you and your family.

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Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas Haiku: sum total

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children dancing with

excitement for sugar, treats,

and presents galore

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choirs singing with

exuberant heralding

joy for the season

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bright stores bursting with

color, music, fanciful

hope for green year’s end

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trees painted bright with

pointed stars, handmade baubles,

tall signature guest

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churches fill with

the eager, the worshipful,

ones who seek the Babe

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my heart blooms with peace

nostalgia and holy praise

for the Holy Gift

 

sum total

by Angie Quantrell

 

Thank you for joining me on this Christmas Haiku journey! May this Season of Light speak to your heart and fill you with hopeful anticipation.

Read more Christmas Haiku here.


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Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas: sacred

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green, everlasting

evidence of sacred life

hope springs eternal

 

sacred

by Angie Quantrell

 

Thanks for joining me on a Christmas Haiku journey as I celebrate with words, thoughts, and photos that take me deep into my family’s Christmas traditions. Read more Christmas Haiku here.
May this Season of Light remind you of what is sacred.


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Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas Haiku: silent

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frozen reminder

season of rest, of silence

time stopped, be at peace

 

silent

by Angie Quantrell

 

Thanks for joining me on a Christmas Haiku journey as I celebrate with words, thoughts, and photos that take me deep into my family’s Christmas traditions. Read more Christmas Haiku here.
May this Season of Light fill your heart with the peace of silence.


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Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas Haiku: sacrifice

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Baby born to be

the world’s greatest sacrifice,

Lord Jesus, Son, Redeemer

 

sacrifice

by Angie Quantrell

Thanks for joining me on a Christmas Haiku journey as I celebrate with words, thoughts, and photos that take me deep into my family’s Christmas traditions. Read more Christmas Haiku here.

May this Season of Light brighten your life and show you the true Sacrifice.


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Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas Haiku: tradition

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lights, keepsakes, decor,

put on display, treasured bits-

Yuletide traditions

 

traditions

by Angie Quantrell

 

Thanks for joining me on a Christmas Haiku journey as I celebrate with words, thoughts, and photos that take me deep into my family’s Christmas traditions. Read more Christmas Haiku here.

May this Season of Light brighten your life and traditions become clear in their importance to your family.


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Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas Haiku: gift

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pinterest attempt,

Baby, Christmas gift, story

told in painted rock

 

gift

by Angie Quantrell

 

Thanks for joining me on a Christmas Haiku journey as I celebrate with words, thoughts, and photos that take me deep into my family’s Christmas traditions. Read more Christmas Haiku here.
May this Season of Light brighten your life and fill your heart with true gifts.

 


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Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas Haiku: dream

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wonder, sugar plums

dancing, bouncing, sweetening

dreams; swirling sugar

 

dream

by Angie Quantrell

 

Thanks for joining me on a Christmas Haiku journey as I celebrate with words, thoughts, and photos that take me deep into my family’s Christmas traditions. Read more Christmas Haiku here.

May this Season of Light brighten your life and fill your heart with sweet dreams.


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Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas Haiku: celebrate

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yellow, color of

celebration! Heaven joy-

the Christ King is come

 

celebrate

by Angie Quantrell

 

Thanks for joining me on a Christmas Haiku journey as I celebrate with words, thoughts, and photos that take me deep into my family’s Christmas traditions. Read more Christmas Haiku here.

May this Season of Light brighten your life and fill your heart with the colors and joy of celebration!