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Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite
Seoul Finds Her Talent by Kimberly Ratliff shares the story of a little Korean girl named Seoul. One day she is invited to share her talent in the neighborhood talent show. Seoul is not sure what she should demonstrate. She visits some of her friends to see what they are doing, but she can do none of the things they do. Her Halmony (grandmother) finds her in her room crying and encourages her to share something very special that she has learned. The day of the talent show arrives, and everyone enjoys all the talents that are shared. Sprinkled throughout the text are some Korean words and a glossary is appended.
Kids' talent shows provide a fun showcase for kids to demonstrate their budding talents. Kimberly Ratliff has shown that they can also be used to introduce kids to different cultural traditions. I enjoyed the fact that each of her friends shared their talents and encouraged Seoul even when she wasn't successful. Seoul Finds Her Talent celebrates the uniqueness in all of us. It also highlights a slice of Korean culture that isn't always depicted in children's picture books. As a former children's librarian, I would always welcome multicultural books which I believe serve two purposes. They provide an introduction for those unfamiliar with the culture but they also provide representation so all kids can find books that reflect their life. Ratliff's colorful illustrations enhance the story. I loved Kim-Chi, Seoul's little dog, who also has a talent! Seoul Finds Her Talent is a delightful book that will encourage kids to celebrate their special gifts.