A cheerful heart-warming story about a young girl, who, after living alone with her mother for some time, gets a stepfather and experiences conflict and a change of heart.
- Book Intro
Magic Ttakji is a cheerful heart-warming story about a young girl, who, after living alone with her mother for some time, gets a stepfather and experiences conflict and a change of heart. The book is filled with witty sentences written from a child’s perspective, not to mention highly original characters who move us to tears or laughter. Author Joo Mikyung’s vivid depiction of protagonists Jooyoo’s psychology—as she feels sad and lonely, thinking she’s lost her mother to her stepfather—clearly conveys a child’s sense of loss. This book has been praised as “the most fairytale-like story,” “a sophisticated work that doesn’t lose each character’s emotional arc within the well-crafted plot,” and “a masterpiece that explores the fears of a child who must accept a new member into the family—without falling into the pitfall of being too serious.” This book helps us open up our minds towards the various forms of family that have emerged in recent years.
At the heart of the story is Jooyoo’s dilemma, as she is forced to gradually make room for her stepfather. This story of a child accepting a new member into her family delivers lively humor as well as profound messages. Inspired by the characters in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the magic ttakji in the story are called Lu Bu, Cao Cao, Liu Bei, and Zhuge Liang. They serve as an effective device to lead us further into the story at every key point of connection between incidents. The characters shine with unique originality: childlike Jooyoo, mature Mr. Bongchu, Mother, and Jooyoo’s friend Dongtak all come alive, fulfilling their roles and making healthy appearances within the story.
- About the Author
Joo Mikyung graduated from the Department of Korean Language and Literature at Sogang University. She published her children’s poetry and fiction in Children and Literature, and won the Spring Literary Contest hosted by The Busan Ilbo with her poems for children. She won the 3rd Munhakdongne Children’s Poetry Award (Grand Prize), the 18th Munhakdongne Children Literature Award (Grand Prize), and the 15th Ma Haesong Literary Prize with her works I’m a Rice Weevil, Wow’s First Book, and Magic Ttakji.
Jung Jiyoon majored in Oriental Painting at Hongik University. She now lives in a small village in Jinan, North Jeolla Province, where she looks out the window to catch sight of blue skies and mountains while she works on her paintings. Her credits include: They’re All Beans, Eoreum Ppri the Rope-walking Child, The House My Aunt Dreams of, Walking around My Neighborhood, Off You Go, Yakson! and A Very Special Guest, among many others.
The 15th Ma Haesong Literary Award
Daum Book Club. 2021, Juyu lives with her mother. One day, she is introduced to Bongchu, her mother's new boyfriend, who comes to live with them. The book describes, in measured prose, the process by which Juyu and Bongchu become a family. This children's story goes beyond social stereotypes, gender roles, and fixed notions of blood family relations to readily discuss the characters of a single mom and her child from a completely refreshing perspective.