Author Yeorim Yoon invites readers into a welcoming haven in the Korean import It's OK, Slow Lizard, gorgeously illustrated by Jian Kim. In an idyllic forest live five wonderful friends: Little Bird, Elephant, Rabbit, Monkey and Slow Lizard. Basking in gentle sunlight, Slow Lizard enjoys a "slow, slow life. And because I live a slow life, I see many things, I hear many things, and I have lots of time to help my friends."
When Little Bird, who rushes to do everything early, gets anxious, Slow Lizard is there to share flower tea so that "Little Bird's stress slowly melts away." When Elephant becomes frustrated over a broken shoelace, Slow Lizard suggests some cloud watching. When Rabbit loses a race, Slow Lizard--and friends--assure Rabbit that not winning is okay. When Monkey indulges in too many pranks, Slow Lizard offers a "really good" book to read together instead. Slow Lizard's friends eagerly reciprocate the reptile's kindness. With a thunderstorm approaching, "prepared" Little Bird, "generous" Elephant, "clever" Rabbit and "funny" Monkey all work together with Slow Lizard to stay "safe and sound."
Just like the cozy menagerie, Yoon, Kim and translator Chi-Young Kim are in perfect synch in quietly convincing readers that slow-going is often the best antidote for anxiety, frustration and making mistakes. On every page, Jian Kim provides a soft landing point with intricate details that highlight nature: tiny leaves, magnificent blossoms, perfectly ripened fruits. Together, Yoon's soothing prose, Jian Kim's winsome spreads and Chi-Young Kim's crisp translation create a comforting, multi-layered literary gift to return to for many years (decades!) to come. --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon