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The King Has Donkey’s Ears 임금님 귀는 당나귀 귀/The Fountain of Youth 젊어지는 샘물
Price per Unit (piece): KRW 13,000
USD 10.10
Publisher: MediaChangbi
Pub. Date: July 2015
Pages: 60
Cover: Hardcover
Dimensions (in inches): 7.5 x 10.3 x 0.4
ISBN: 979-11-955486-7-5
Language: English/Korean
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Reading traditional Korean folk tales for fun and reading them again in English

Let’s read traditional Korean folk tales in Korean and English!


The traditional folk tale is a genre widely read and beloved regardless of the era.


Transmitted from mouth to mouth over a long period, traditional Korean folk tales reflect the everyday lives, customs, joys and sorrows, and humor and courage of Koreans in the olden days. They are invaluable stories that can be enjoyed by people in distant lands and those who have come from afar and live in South Korea as well. - Kim Myung-Hwan (professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Seoul National University) -


As in the recommendation by Professor Kim Myung-Hwan at Seoul National University, reading old tales holds a special value. Publishing traditional Korean folk tales, which are thus meaningful, in both Korean and English, this series will reward children with both the joy of reading old stories and an opportunity to study English. Furthermore, the series has been planned so that it can be enjoyed by Korean children overseas, children from multicultural families in South Korea, and children around the globe as well. We hope that it will be used also as a good guide for naturally introducing Korean culture to foreign friends abroad as they are told traditional folk tales from Korea.


An Introduction to the Series

Out of the countless tales that are widely known to many Korean readers, 23 especially colorful and entertaining ones have been selected and edited into 12 volumes. Familiar to Korean children, stories such as “Yeonorang and Seonyeo,” “The Headstone Goes to Court,” “The King has Donkey’s Ears,” and “Kongji and Patji” will not only be fun to read in the original Korean but also heighten youngsters’ understanding as they read the English translations. In addition, children who know similar traditional folk tales from other countries can make comparisons, thus being provided with a fascinating approach to these works.


Table of Contents

    01 “The King Has Donkey’s Ears”

Long, long ago, in the time of the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla, the monarch’s ears suddenly grew very long and pointy so that he was very vexed. Deciding to hide his odd appearance with a large headdress, he summoned a crown maker to the palace. Although the king was now able to conceal his donkey-like ears with the regal headgear created by the elderly artisan, the crown maker was on the verge of madness because it was so difficult to keep the ruler’s secret. Desperately wishing to unburden himself at least once before dying, the elderly artisan went into the bamboo forest outside the city wall and shouted, “The king has a donkey’s ears!” After the crown maker’s death, however, strange sounds started to come from the bamboo forest amidst the rustle of the leaves.


    02 “The Fountain of Youth”

Once upon a time, there lived a kindhearted elderly couple in a deep valley. However, they were sorrowful because, unlike others, they were childless. One day, the kindhearted husband went to the mountains to cut wood. While chopping trees, he became thirsty so drank from a clear spring, after which he lay down and fell asleep immediately. Awaking after a sound sleep, the husband found himself unexpectedly turned into a young man. When the sun rose the next day, his wife likewise took several gulps from the magical fountain and was transformed into a young woman. On the other hand, hearing of the miracle, the greedy old man living near the couple, too, rushed to the spring and began to drink to his fill.


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