Korean Folk & Fairy Tales
by Suzanne Crowder Han
Hollym, 1991. 256 pgs. Nonfiction
This is a sampling of Korean stories which have been passed through generations via spoken and written traditions. It includes fables, anecdotes, fairy tales, origin stories and tales of the bizarre. Themes about life, love, power, money, family, justice, and humility are found throughout the stories, providing a window through which to gain some understanding of present-day Korean culture.
A society’s folklore can tell a lot about their traditional values, history, and influences. I really enjoyed this collection and the improved understanding of Korean culture it provided me. I love how short and consumable these stories are, with most no more than a few pages. I don’t know the original Korean versions of these stories, but there were a few stories where I felt the author used stronger language than was probably necessary. That was definitely the exception though, not the rule. This collection of stories is easy for me to recommend to anyone who loves folktales and fables, but I would advise parents to quickly read through a story before telling it to a young child. Not everything is suitable for very young audiences.