Make your own free website on
Multicultural Literature

Yangsook Choi: Biography

Yangsook Choi: Biography
Yangsook Choi: Bibliography
Yangsook Choi: Book Analysis
The Thief Lord
This Same Sky
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
The Eleventh Hour: Curious Mystery
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry
M.C. Higgins, the Great
Goin' Someplace Special
Too Many Tamales
Pablo Remembers
My Name is Maria Isabel
Pablo's Tree
The Great Ball Game
Buffalo Woman
Morning Girl
The Mud Pony: A Traditional Skidi Pawnee Tale
Jingle Dancer
The Name Jar
Tree of Cranes
Good Luck Gold: And Other Poems
The Magic Paintbrush
Ella Enchanted
Silent Lotus
Real Heroes

Visit YANGSOOK CHOI web site

Yangsook Choi
She is second from the left.


Yangsook Choi


Personal Statement From Yangsook Choi

“I came to America to finally pursue my dream as an artist at the age of 24.  My determination was clear; no matter what I did I would use my profession as a channel to somehow connect to children.  My heart was hardened by the injustices towards children by the rules made by self centered grown ups.  I felt I needed to do something about it when I grew up.  But I simply never expected myself to work this directly for children.” (Choi 2004)


v    Yangsook grew up in Seoul, Korea.

v    Dreams while growing up were to be the first female heavy metal singer giving Korea a strong female role model or to be a biologist which would “feed my curiosity in life”. (Choi 2004)

v    Her mother and father did not encourage art.  Her mother said “art would bring an ambiguous future.” (Choi 2004)

v    She worked as a flight attendant for Cathay Pacific Airlines.

v    She came to New York in 1991.

v    She received a full scholarship and attended Kendall College of Art and Design in Michigan.

v    She originally studied interior design but changed her major to illustration.  She graduated in 1993.

v    She moved to New York City in 1993.

v    She received her MFA (Masters in Fine Arts) from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

v    She had her first book contract by the time she graduated art school.

v    Peter Sis (a children’s author/illustrator) became her advisor on her thesis project which evolved into her first book titled, The Sun Girl and the Moon Boy, a Korean folktale published in 1997.

v    The publisher requested Yangsook change her first book's story line to make it more marketable.  She says, “I didn’t want to change something that’s Korean-it’s like changing the nature of Korean history, culture and emotions”. (Lim)

v    She resides in New York City.

v    She dedicates herself to telling stories of people and conventions of Asian origin.

v    She has written and illustrated 3 books and has collaborated with many authors as an illustrator.

v    Each syllable in a Korean name has a meaning.  ‘Yang’ means sweet and nice, ‘sook’ means clear and pure, and ‘Choi’ means high.

v    Her American name is Rachel.

v    She feels that her Korean background influences her stories.  Yangsook says, “in the children’s book market, my Korean culture and background are very unique and different” (Hong 2002).

v    To write for children the author must have a relationship and communication with kids.  Yangsook believes the message needs to be positive with the power to enhance their lives.

v    As an author, she keeps an idea notebook and she reads.

v    Sometimes, she creates the visual story before the words.

v    She sees herself branching out from multiculturalism to fantasy. 

v    She would like her books to be translated and published for Korean readers who have traditionally read only folk tales, classical stories and comic books.

v    She writes following a simple credo: “I don’t write for children as an adult, I write for children as a child myself.” (Lim)

v    Honors include International Reading Association Children’s Book Award, the Parents Choice Silver Honor, and the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award.





















Choi, Yangsook.  23 June 04.  Personal biography.
[email message]    Accessed 23 June 04.

Hong, Terry.  2002.  Being a kid.  Available from
    Accessed 22 June 04.

Lim, Albert.  2001.  Children’s author shows off 
     Asian culture in the United States.  Available 
     Accessed 23 June 04.

Lindal, Sheila J.  2003.  Interview with Yangsook 
Available from 
     Accessed 20 June 04.

Ramsey, Inez.   Yansook Choi Bibliography.
     Available from
Accessed 20 June 04.

Yangsook Choi.  2003.  Available from  Accessed 22 
     June 04.



Google Images.  Yangsook Choi.  Available from  Accessed
     21 July 04.