Dayeon (pronounced dah-yeon) wants to be a haenyeo just like Grandma. The haenyeo dive off the coast of Jeju Island to pluck treasures from the sea–generations of Korean women have done so for centuries. To Dayeon, the haenyeo are as strong and graceful as mermaids. To give her strength, Dayeon eats Grandma’s abalone porridge. She practices holding her breath while they do the dishes. And when Grandma suits up for her next dive, Dayeon grabs her suit, flippers, and goggles. A scary memory of the sea keeps Dayeon clinging to the shore, but with Grandma’s guidance, Dayeon comes to appreciate the ocean’s many gifts. (Source)
Author: Tina Cho
Illustrator: Jess X. Snow
Author Tina Cho writes for the educational and children’s literature. She lived in South Korea with her husband and two children while teaching at an international school. She currently lives in the United States, in her home state of Iowa.
Illustrator Jess X. Snow is a writer/director, multi-disciplinary artist, cultural worker and poet, who creates genre-defying inter-generational stories from a queer, non-binary Asian immigrant lens. Spanning large scale augmented reality murals, wheat-pasted posters, children’s books, and narrative films, their work and process explore how care and intimacy can help us imagine worlds outside of borders and empire, and end cycles of institutional and domestic violence.