• The Ocean Calls

  • A Haenyeo Mermaid Story
  • By: Tina Cho
  • Narrated by: Jeena Yi
  • Length: 15 mins

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Publisher's Summary

A breathtaking book featuring a Korean girl and her haenyeo (free diving) grandmother about intergenerational bonds, finding courage in the face of fear, and connecting with our natural world.

Dayeon wants to be a haenyeo just like Grandma. The haenyeo dive off the coast of Jeju Island to pluck treasures from the sea - generations of Korean women have done so for centuries. To Dayeon, the haenyeo are as strong and graceful as mermaids. To give her strength, Dayeon eats Grandma's abalone porridge. She practices holding her breath while they do the dishes. And when Grandma suits up for her next dive, Dayeon grabs her suit, flippers, and goggles. A scary memory of the sea keeps Dayeon clinging to the shore, but with Grandma's guidance, Dayeon comes to appreciate the ocean's many gifts.

Tina Cho's The Ocean Calls is a classic in the making.

©2020 Tina Cho (P)2021 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

Fall 2020 Kids’ Indie Next List Kirkus Best Children's Books 2020

Junior Library Guild selection

“Use this sweet story about family tradition, trust, and confidence to support STEM units on weather and tides, sea life, and ecology.” (Booklist, starred review)  

“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.”  (Publishers Weekly, starred review) 

“In Cho and Snow’s celebration of this fascinating tradition, the risks and rewards are given only to the worthy - which takes practice, courage, and a grandmother’s love.” (Kirkus, starred review)     

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