A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Korean / Republic of Korea

Chil nyeon dongan ui jam
(The seven-year sleep)

Park, Wan-suh (Bak, Wan Seo) (text)
Kim, Se-hyun (Gim, Se Hyeon) (illus.)
Paju: Eorini jakga jeongsin (Kids Jakka), 2015. – [34] p.
(Series: Doran doran uri geurimchaek)
ISBN 978-89-7288-768-3

Urbanisation – Nature – Dilemma –
Empathy – Picture book

Famine has come to an ants’ village because of continuous construction work, urbanisation and neglect of food procurement. One day, a young ant finds a possible source of food that could feed them all, unaware that this is a sleeping cicada nymph preparing to wake up in summer and sing for everyone. The young ant leads his fellows to this food source, but a wise old ant enlightens them on the true nature of the cicada nymph. He suggests that they set it free, because it has been preparing for its new life to begin this summer for the last seven years. The ants start an argument amongst themselves: Should they release the cicada nymph or should they eat it in order to prevent starvation and regain their strength? This picture book confronts young readers with the matter of working through a difficult moral dilemma. The ants finally find a solution that everybody is satisfied with. In today’s materialistic society, this book offers a welcome defense of values like empathy, respect for other beings, and concern for our ecosystem. (Age: 6+)