The ocean calls : a haenyeo mermaid story / written by Tina M. Cho ; illustrated by Jess X. Snow.

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Wanting to follow in the footsteps of her free-diving haenyeo grandmother, a young Korean girl dutifully consumes her grandmother's strength-building abalone porridge and practices her breath control before suiting up and overcoming fears to make remarkable discoveries.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      CHO, T.; SNOW, J. X. The ocean calls : a haenyeo mermaid story. [s. l.]: Kokila, 2020. ISBN 9781984814869. Disponível em: Acesso em: 2 dez. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Cho T, Snow JX. The Ocean Calls : A Haenyeo Mermaid Story. Kokila; 2020. Accessed December 2, 2020.
    • APA:
      Cho, T., & Snow, J. X. (2020). The ocean calls : a haenyeo mermaid story. Kokila.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Cho, Tina, and Jess X. Snow. 2020. The Ocean Calls : A Haenyeo Mermaid Story. Kokila.
    • Harvard:
      Cho, T. and Snow, J. X. (2020) The ocean calls : a haenyeo mermaid story. Kokila. Available at: (Accessed: 2 December 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Cho, T & Snow, JX 2020, The ocean calls : a haenyeo mermaid story, Kokila, viewed 2 December 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Cho, Tina, and Jess X. Snow. The Ocean Calls : A Haenyeo Mermaid Story. Kokila, 2020. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Cho, Tina, and Jess X. Snow. The Ocean Calls : A Haenyeo Mermaid Story. Kokila, 2020.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Cho T, Snow JX. The ocean calls : a haenyeo mermaid story [Internet]. Kokila; 2020 [cited 2020 Dec 2]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2020 May #2

*Starred Review* This beautifully illustrated picture book is set on Jeju Island in South Korea, home of the haenyeo, legendary women divers who hunt for deep-sea delicacies. Young Dayeon wants to dive, just like Grandma, but is afraid of getting water up her nose or being eaten by some scary underwater creature. Grandma is patient, and just like her mother taught her, teaches Dayeon breath control and how to stay safe in the ocean as they gradually venture out farther and deeper. A sudden swarm of dolphins is a warning that hungry sharks are headed their way. Grandma and Dayeon swim as fast as they can, and are pulled up to safety by other haenyeo. Dayeon feels protected and at home, just like a mermaid surrounded by ocean treasures. Swirling blues and purples are juxtaposed against brilliant oranges and yellows, depicting rich vistas, and back matter explains the origins of the haenyeo and what their lives are like today. Use this sweet story about family tradition, trust, and confidence to support STEM units on weather and tides, sea life, and ecology (the haenyeo are model conservationists). This engaging story with its alluring illustrations also makes a wonderful choice for a read-aloud. Grades K-3. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2020 #4

Young Korean girl Dayeon admires her diver grandmother (“You are like a treasure-hunting mermaid”) and wants to be like her. Grandma is a haenyeo, one of many elderly women who, as the afterword explains, wear a lead belt, flippers, and a mask to dive deep into the sea and collect treasures that can be sold, saved, or eaten. Dayeon has tried to dive, but after a scary experience the previous summer, she is hesitant. Dressed for the sea, she explores the tide pool, collecting shells and splashing her flippers, then slowly builds up the courage to wade a bit further into the water and finally to dive deep with Grandma. This sweet story of a girl overcoming her fear to experience something wondrous and share in an inherited tradition also offers a slice of life that will be new and fascinating to many readers. Cho’s text is accessible and informative. Snow’s illustrations carry Dayeon from morning through sunset with cozy home scenes, busy beach and boat scenes, and immersive underwater views; light, shadow, an color evoke all the sensations of the divers’ experiences. Details about the haenyeo tradition and history shared in the afterword, including quotes from real-life women in their seventies and eighties, show the depth of the community and family relationships so beautifully portrayed in the story. Autumn Allen July/August 2020 p.110 Copyright 2020 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

PW Reviews 2020 June #4

Grandma is part of an island community of haenyeo—South Korean deep-sea divers. She and her fellow divers, all older women, venture without oxygen deep into the ocean to gather abalone, sea urchins, and other treasures. Dayeon, her granddaughter, wants to be a haenyeo ("You're like a treasure-hunting mermaid," she says admiringly), but she's scared. After an earlier attempt at swimming, "water had filled her ears and nose, burned her eyes, and stung her skin." Grandma shows patience and faith as she listens to her granddaughter's anxiety, then responds: "Can't you hear what the waves are saying? They're calling to us to come home." Striking digital artwork by Snow (Black Girl Magic) captures the swirl of the ocean currents, the contrast between the sun's citrus hues and the ocean's blues, and the bounty of sea life. In one spread, Snow shows grandmother and granddaughter heading for the beach as the sun casts shadows behind them that look like mermaid's tails. Sturdy prose by Cho (Rice from Heaven) highlights a segment of Korean society whose women preserve a vibrant tradition of enterprise, stamina, and cooperation, and Grandma shines as a kind of generous real-life superhero. Back matter offers additional information about "Korea's granny mermaids." Ages 5–8. Author's agent: Adria Goetz, Martin Literary Management. Illustrator's agent: Wendi Gu, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Aug.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.