Maya and the Turtle

Written by Soma Han and John Stickler⎮ Narrated by Talulah Shadrick

Author: Soma Han and John Stickler
Narrator: Talulah Shadrick
Length: 11 minutes
Publisher: Author's Republic
Released: April 16, 2020
Genre: Children's

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Synopsis

Soma's mother, T.M. Song, was a storyteller and this is a tale she used to tell her daughters when they were little girls. Her mother had told it to her when she was growing up in a rural village in Korea during the reign of King Kojong.... The underlying lesson is filial piety, respect for one's parents, presented in an engrossing Oriental Cinderella story....

This title won the 2014 Morning Calm Medal, voted first by upper elementary students in 12 International Schools across South Korea....

Sophia Rose's Review

4 Stars

This audiobook was provided by its author, John Stickler, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, John!

When I spotted that Maya and the Turtle was a Korean children’s fairytale passed down from mother to daughter, I was delighted to pick it up and listen in.

The short ‘picture’ story was tender and had a blend of courage, generosity, adversity, and magic which made for a good fairytale.  I didn’t have the illustrations of the picture book before me, but I was able to see brave, sweet Maya in my mind’s eye cling to the promise her mother made before she died and then do everything she could to save her father.

Maya and the Turtle left me with a stronger curiosity for more Korean folklore, more interest in Korean history, and the lessons learned from Maya’s actions.  I think children will love the whimsy of the magical turtle and villain caterpillar, the struggle of Maya and her reward.

The narrator, Talulah Shadrick, was a first time for me, but she was splendid as a little girl’s voice and the storyteller voice she adopted.  The production of Maya and the Turtle was superb.  The wedding march was an interesting sound effect for later in the story and I wish a Korean wedding piece had been played, but I get that this was translated for English-speaking listeners.  I enjoyed the author’s note at the end about the source of this story.

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