Juck, Lee

One Day

(2) K-3 Translated by Dianne Chung. Illustrated by Kim Seung-youn. Also translated by Lee Juck. A young child wonders where his beloved grandpa has gone. "His shoes sit in the closet, waiting to be worn...He isn't here to wake me up, or rub his stubbly chin against my cheek." Readers may understand that the grandfather has died ("Grandma keeps rubbing my back...I eat everything without complaining. If I didn't, I think she would cry"), but the child eventually decides that Grandpa likely has returned to the place he came from: "a place across the universe, full of dazzling stars." He was a tailor, and in the concluding scene, with a well-positioned gatefold, Seung-youn's subdued earth-tone illustrations weave together motifs from Grandpa's life with those of space. The flat black of the night sky is scattered with button stars, for example; and is Grandpa standing on a ball of thread or a planet of his own? With its refrain "Grandpa is gone," the beautifully paced text gradually adds layers to the protagonist's understanding of this enormous loss. An affecting portrait of the deep feelings and confusion of a child mourning the absence of a loved one.


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