Author: Anne Sibley O'Brien
Age Group: Youth
# of Pages: 48
My Rating: 4/5
This magical tale takes place back in Ancient Korea where your status determines your future.
Hong Kil Dong will never be truly accepted. His father is a minister but unfortunately, his mother is a servant. Scorned upon, the intelligent boy will never be acknowledged because of his background.
Enough is enough. He leaves the secure walls of his home to train in the mountains. He is taught by a wise sage to use martial arts and magic. One day, he runs into a group of bandits. Then learns that they became bandits because the corrupted government has been taking all of their money and been overtaxing them. Kil Dong knows that if he does not do something, the land will increase in the number of poverty. Creating a group called Hwal Bin Dang, Kil Dong and the bandits are stealing from the rich to give back the money to the poor. With lovely Korean-styled artwork and accurate historical information, this is a Robin Hood tale that could be enjoyed at any age.
I generally don't review picture books, in fact this is my first. I was enticed to borrow Hong Kil Dong because I adore the Korean drama of it (sadly I have not yet finished the series). I think it's a pretty good read, especially since that it is for the younger audience. Everything is detailed from the plot to the drawings, which is quite impressive. But I don't recommend this for kids in grade one and such because the terminology may be confusing. This is a picture book that adults can take a liking to for sure though.