Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Color of Earth

The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa

Ehwa is seven years old on the first page of this beautifully illustrated manhwa, interested in bugs, flowers, and her own body. As she grows and matures, she discovers the physical differences between boys and girls, grows into young womanhood and undergoes her first confusing experience with romance and sexuality. Her mother, the keeper of a small tavern in rural Korea, also experiences changes as a traveling artist reawakens her affection, and mother and daughter are able to share their experiences in a lovely, open, and age-appropriate manner. Themes of love, sexuality, and natural beauty abound in this attractive volume, which is first in a trilogy translated from the Korean by Lauren Na.

No cussing or killing; nudity and sexual situations are portrayed. According to the notes at the end of the story, the popularity of this series in Korea is surprising because it is written by a man and read by both men and women there.

Recommended for readers ages 12 and up, even those who do not normally read graphic novels. The next books in the series continue telling the story of Ehwa's maturation into adulthood.

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