Dafna Zur's Figuring Korean Futures: Children's Literature in Modern Korea introduces us to the kaleidoscopic world of Korean children's literature from 1908 to 1950. As the first book-length English-language study of Korean children's literature, it covers a truly impressive range of primary and secondary materials. Zur sets forth the scope of her research as “poetry, prose, illustrations, and miscellaneous textual forms published in children's magazines or newspaper columns aimed at young readers” (p. 6), but her discussion at times spills over to even more diverse texts, such as a collection of translated folktales (p. 83) and a radio script (p. 129). Her main argument is that colonial-era Korean writers created an idealized closeness of children to nature through the notion of tongsim, which she translates as “the child-heart.”

Organized chronologically, the six main chapters examine an extensive array of topics related to children's literature published over the first half...

You do not currently have access to this content.