When Spring Comes to the DMZ

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: Not set

Member Reviews

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book but was very curious. I was surprised. The illustrations were absolutely beautiful. And the story was actually very powerful. We often times forget how our actions effect others and the world around us. This book is a nice reminder. And also a small history lesson.
Was this review helpful?
A really powerful story with beautiful illustrations. Highly recommend for kids and adults. In an ideal world, the DMZ wouldn't exist, and peace would reign.
Was this review helpful?
There was something heartbreaking, yet poetic about this picture book. The illustrations complemented the story really well.
Was this review helpful?
A beautiful way to handle a hard topic with children (the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea). I enjoyed the layers that allow for discussion of grief and peace (or its absence) if a child is ready. The illustrations soften some of the harshness without shying away it. Educational and inspiring, for young and old alike. Definitely recommend to any parents wanting to help their kids know more about history and other countries.
Was this review helpful?
Loved reading this! I wasn't sure what to expect, but this book is so much more than I first thought! So good!
Was this review helpful?
When Spring Comes to The DMZ by Uk-Bae Lee is a surprise of the best kind. Children in Korea definitely deserve this one (and it has been available in Korean since 2010), but I'm glad that even those who do not read Korean will be able to access this picture book now.

The illustrations are genuinely breathtaking, with a soft light to them that makes them incredibly easy on the eye. The style actually reminds me of books I enjoyed in my own childhood, and I think adults and children alike will find comfort in it.

I really enjoyed the way the story went through each season in the DMZ. It allows the reader to fully experience the wildlife haven that this area has become over the years, and to see the types of wildlife that have been able to thrive in this sanctuary. I didn't expect to see the character of Grandfather, longing for his home, as part of each season, but it made a lot of sense to see him. I think it's a beautiful way to show that although there is beauty in the DMZ, there is still intense trauma in a divide that need not exist. 

I definitely recommend this picture book for all ages. I think it's an important look into a complex issue, as well as a lovely display of nature and seasonal changes.
Was this review helpful?
This is a lovely story about a terrible part of history (and present). There would be a lot to unpack for a child, making this a better picture book for an older reader and read aloud with an adult, but I do believe it is a good story for a child nonetheless. The child telling the story doesn't necessarily have the whole story of the demilitarized zone, but he sees the changing of the seasons through the animals that live there and the people who guard both sides. The illustrations are striking in the way they juxtapose natural beauty with fences, razor wire, and weapons. This should invite a lot of conversations and contemplation.
Was this review helpful?
‘This unique picture book invites young readers into the natural beauty of the DMZ, where salmon, spotted seals, and mountain goats freely follow the seasons and raise their families in this 2.5-mile-wide, 150-mile-long corridor where no human may tread. But the vivid seasonal flora and fauna are framed by ever-present rusty razor wire, warning signs, and locked gates—and regularly interrupted by military exercises that continue decades after a 1953 ceasefire in the Korean War established the DMZ.’

Lee's When Spring Comes to the DMZ is a delightful picture book following the cycle of seasons in the safe zone. You get to see all kinds animals that have made the DMZ home. It's truly a natural wonderland. It was so sad about the grandfather though. It's too deep for a children's book, but I wanted to know his thoughts. Was he from the area now North Korea? Did he fight in the war? Lose family during it? What were his thoughts on the changes in the DMZ? I read this with my cubs and we all enjoyed it!  

***Many thanks to Netgalley & Plough Publishing for providing an ecopy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
'When Spring Comes to the DMZ' with words and illustrations by Uk-Bae Lee is a poignant children's book about living in a split country.

Following the seasons, we see wildlife flourishing along the DMZ between North and South Korea.  Along with flora and fauna are the ever present soldiers and harsh fences.  A lone grandfather visits every season and climbs the wall on the South to look over to the North.  The book ends with an explanation to what this DMZ is all about and how nature is protected here for now.

The illustrations are very nice in this book.  The sadness of the story will probably be lost on most small kids, but it wasn't on me as the grandfather goes to look towards what used to be his home, and perhaps to look for relatives left behind.  Simply beautiful.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Plough Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
Was this review helpful?
It's difficult to present the divide between North and South Korea in a way that's appropriate for younger children.  Lee does this by keeping the focus on the animals that live in the DMZ, while still showing the barbed wire, the soldiers, and the poignancy of Grandfather's visits to look across the divide.  Notes at the end provide context that adults reading to younger children can explain as appropriate.  Recommended.
Review based on an ARC through NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
I found this book touching and poignant, not knowing too much about the subject myself, but I do not feel ready to use it as an educator. I do not need a book on this subject for my classroom in Italy currently, but I think it was very sensitively written and suitable for young readers, so should the need arise I would not hesitate to use this one.
The illustrations are beautiful and the pace of the book is very calming.
Was this review helpful?
This  beautifully illustrated book will be an important addition to any library. As a book intended for a younger audience, it sensitively conveys the story of a difficulty reality in a way that helps children understand the situation without unduly frightening them.  It is a valuable book for any teacher, librarian, or parent planning a history or cultural lesson for young children.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful, important book with amazing illustrations. I was reading along with my partner and mole, and while we all knew about DMZ in the political sense, it was very enlightening to also find out how it doubles as a nature reserve, which is a fantastic, almost alternative reality aspect of the unfortunate rift between the Koreas. I expected a little more drama, thinking that the grandfather who was climbing the outlook point was separated from someone in North Korea. But I don't know if that would work well in a children's book, and also it would probably be too on the nose. So I thank  Uk-Bae Lee sincerely for his measured, restrained approach to a painful issue. And for the way he painted pigs and seals, so very cute! Will definitely buy the print version as a gift to smart kids.
Was this review helpful?
This beautifully illustrated and extremely touching picture book tells the story of an area I didn't even know existed. The DMZ, or the demilitarized zone, is the 2.5-mile-wide, 150-mile-long corridor between North and South Korea. Separated by fences, it is a lush land full of wildlife and forests where no one is safe to walk. It's a paradise, surrounded by war. 

It's told from the perspective of a grandfather to his grandchild, and it is so poignant, the grandfather is clearly so upset. But there is joy in the creatures who inhabit this forbidden world, and it's truly so, so touching. 

On the other hand, this absolutely does not read as a children's book. I feel like on the one hand, the young generation should understand what war can do to a country, but the age range for this type of book cannot comprehend this subject matter, and in fact, it may scare them too much for the message to get through. 

I tried to imagine the children I know of different ages receiving this message, and while I can think of one little girl who could potentially get a lot from it, I do not know that I would be comfortable sending her this book. It's beautiful, but the subject matter is so heavy for such a young heart. 

It's a good book, and an important book, but I think it's too much book. It saddens my heart, and I am very old, and very jaded. I don't know that I would want to do that to a child.
Was this review helpful?
“When Spring Comes to the DMZ” is a beautiful depiction of a heartbreaking reality that is unfamiliar to many students. I really appreciate Uk-Bae Lee’s portrayal of the wildlife and nature that are present within the DMZ territory. We don’t often think about the peace that nature brings to the land despite the hatred and offense of man which the land is more notably known for. Uk-Bae Lee’s inclusion of the grandfather is not only precious, but shows the brutal effect the DMZ has on the Korean people. The separation, the loss, all can be felt in this heartfelt look at the DMZ in a way that students can comprehend.
Was this review helpful?
A look at the animals that have made the DMZ between North and South Korea home, how activities around the DMZ change with the seasons for both animals and people. And how many people long to be able to cross that place where the animals roam freely.

How do you broach the subject of old military actions and the divisions between countries and politics with kids? The author of this book has chosen to use animals living peacefully and contrast it with the activities of soldiers going through practice maneuvers in this book, and the way the division is breaking one old man’s heart. In the back of the book are more details about how the DMZ in Korea came to be, why many animals thrive in this space now, and what people who seek reunification of the Koreas desire. I know of absolutely no other books for younger kids that dare to tackle the topic of Korean division and reunification. I also don’t know of any other book that looks at rare animals of Korea. This book is a tactful look at the ways that war can tear people apart and the ways that peace can bring life. Definitely recommended for kids who live in Korea or who are about to visit Korea. Also may be a good book to read for middle grade kids studying the Korean War and older students looking at themes and symbolism in literature. And, of course, also a good book for animal lovers and those studying rare and endangered species of the world.

I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This book, The Spring comes to the DMZ, is an ARC from Plough Publishing.
It is a well illustrated and descriptive picture book that follows a Korean Grandfather as he views life within the Demilitarized Zone in Korea. The descriptive images of open skies, animals, and vegetation that are illustrated and the story of how the Grandfather yearns to see the other side provides a story of how life continues to prosper within the zone, and yet how it continues to deter life. 
At the end of the book is a short, informative epilogue on the History of South and North Korea and how the DMZ began. Very informative for both young readers and adults.
Would definitely like to see this book in my Local library.
Thank you to Plough Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me with this book. To the author UK-Bae Lee, thank you for creating a book so that the world could have some understanding about  living within a divided country.
Was this review helpful?
This picture book shares a part of the world that is probably very unfamiliar to most Americans, young or old, the border of North and South Korea. The story is well-done, but the images are wonderful. They show the animals whose habitat has been disrupted by the war. Plenty of detail makes these images worth exploring. Mind you, this book has a clear anti-North Korea point of view, but I found that positive.
Was this review helpful?
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I am not entirely sure this should be a children's picture book. There are wonderful illustrations, and a clear progression through seasons, which I think was the goal of the book. In that regard, it was successful. I get the feeling the author was trying to push an agenda item, rather than illustrate a story. The story was of a child and his grandfather, repeatedly visiting the DMZ fence to observe wildlife within. I think that should have been the primary objective, but felt as if it was secondary. What I felt as primary objective was to illustrate how and why the fence was there, even though it's not part of the story. I feel an undercurrent of anger at the situation as the driver of the book, instead of educating children. The small historical blurb (which I would have preferred at the beginning) made the point clear, regarding the desire to remove the fence between North and South Korea. It was in this blurb that "DMZ" was defined, and I think in a book intended for children who do not know what it stands for, or even that it is an acronym, this should have been first.
Was this review helpful?
"When Spring Comes to the DMZ" is a beautifully illustrated and valuable children's book. I really liked how there were descriptions of nature along the DMZ as well as the military presence. I think this book would be so great to have in a classroom or for parents to read at home because it can help teach kids (and adults) about the DMZ and the Korean peninsula in an easy to understand way.
Was this review helpful?