Book Review: "The Ocean Palace"; Enchanting children into a reading culture

By Olga Ishimwe
On 6 November 2017 at 12:23

Entitled ‘The Ocean Palace’, is a captivating mix of Rwandan and Korean folktales written for children. It is based on an old Korean folktale, a story that echoes with morals helpful to children.

The Ocean Palace is based on a Korea’s traditional story, "The Ocean Palace" and modified to fit in the Rwandan context by Korea International Agency’s (KOICA) volunteers. It speaks of a dying Ocean king saved by an earnest turtle and a clever rabbit.

Written with wit and pathos, the book unveils the inevitable foibles of animals and exposes their human-like qualities and child-like innocence whereby a rabbit gives out a family elixir he treasures most for the sake of a desperate turtle that had planned to kidnap him and take his liver; just so that he could save his King who was mostly like a father to him.

The Book launch took place on the 27th October, 2017 at 2&5 Christian Academy headquarters in Kigali. The event saw numerous publishers including SBD Books; who published the said very interesting book.

This book was developed as part of KOICA Volunteers’ project, "Korean Tale StorybookDevelopment program". It was funded by KOICA and launched in partnership with Save the Children Rwanda, SBD Books and 2&5 Christian Academy.

This Korean fable pulsate with the rhythm of life and the seasons, transporting the reader to a wonderland where ants talk, a tortoise outwits an all-clever rabbit, a king is father to an ocean , and a rabbit saves a whole ocean palace.

Speaking at the launch, the Project leader, Marta Hye-limYoo, emphasized the exclusiveness of the project, saying that its objective was to empower Rwandans but at the same time empowering Koreans.

"At our arrival in Rwanda, last December, we realised that the reading culture was a bit scarce. We felt like we had to do something to make a change, we did a bit of research and with the help of KOICA volunteers, we decided to go with "The Ocean Palace", a tale that is suitable to children as it speaks of great morals of valor," she said

This Korean fable pulsate with the rhythm of life and the seasons, transporting the reader to a wonderland where ants talk, a tortoise outwits an all-clever rabbit, a king is father to an ocean , and a rabbit saves a whole ocean palace.

Speaking at the launch, the Project leader, Marta Hye-limYoo, emphasized the exclusiveness of the project, saying that its objective was to empower Rwandans but at the same time empowering Koreans.

"At our arrival in Rwanda, last December, we realised that the reading culture was a bit scarce. We felt like we had to do something to make a change, we did a bit of research and with the help of KOICA volunteers, we decided to go with "The Ocean Palace", a tale that is suitable to children as it speaks of great morals of valor," she said

"The Ocean Palace"; an enchanting piece of work
During the book launch; all attendees were enraptured by the book-based puppet play prepared by KOICA Volunteers
SBD books Ltd; the Rwandan-based publishing house that supervised and co-worked with KOICA Volunteers on "The Ocean Palace"
The Project leader, Marta Hye-limYoo, speaking at the book launch

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