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Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth

By Joan Schoettler
Illustrated by Jessica Lanan
$17.95, Hardcover, 32 pages
English Text
Ages 4-8
ISBN-10: 1885008406
ISBN-13: 9781885008404

Ji-su pressed closer to her mother. “Stay. Don’t go to King Yongjo’s court.”

Ji-su’s mother has been chosen by the Korean king to be a seamstress at the palace and sew bojagi, or wrapping cloths, for the royal household. It is a great honor, but to Ji-su it means saying good-bye to her mother. The only way for them to be reunited, Ji-su realizes, is for her to become a seamstress just as talented and be chosen to serve the king.

Through the changing seasons, Ji-su sews, learning the craft from her great-aunt and practicing her stitches tirelessly. One day, she finally has the chance to show her work to the palace Sanguiwon master, who has the power to bring her to her mother or to dash her hopes of being reunited. Is her sewing fine enough for the king?

Joan Schoettler’s warm text brings the landscape and culture ancient Korea to life. Together with illustrator Jessica Lanan’s breathtaking depictions of Korea through the seasons, Ji-su’s story of longing and determination will capture the hearts of readers of all ages.

Korea 2-Book Set

Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth
Land of Morning Calm

Total Value of $34.90
Now Only $27.95!
20% Off!

News and Thoughts

2013 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature

Congratulations to author Joan Schoettler and illustrator Jessica Lanan! Their book, Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth, has been chosen by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association as the best picture book of the year. Here is the official press release:

The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, has selected the winners of the 2013 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature. The awards promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and are awarded based on literary and artistic merit.

The awards are given in five categories, with winner and honor books selected in each category. The winners of the 2013 awards include:

Picture Book Winner: Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth, written by Joan Schoettler and illustrated by Jessica Lanan, published by Shen's Books. Picture Book Honor was given to A Path of Stars written by Anne Sibley O'Brien, published by Charlesbridge.

Children's Literature: Hildi Kang's Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan published by Tanglewood Publishing. Shark King by Kikuo Johnson and published by Toon Books was selected as an honor recipient.

Young Adult Literature winner: Tina's Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary written by Keshni Kashyap, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Young Adult Literature Honor was given to Ichiro written by Ryan Inzana, also published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The Collective by Don Lee and published by W. W. Norton & Company was selected as the Adult Fiction winner. Drifting House by Krys Lee and published by Viking Penguin was selected as an Adult Fiction honor title.

Adult Non-Fiction winner: Third Asiatic Invasion: Empire and Migration in Filipino America, 1989-1946, by Rick Baldoz and published by New York University Press. The Adult Non-Fiction honor book is Forbidden Citizens, by Martin B. Gold and published by The Capitol.Net.

Winner and Honor books were chosen from titles published from October 2010 to September 2012. The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) was founded in 1980 by librarians of diverse  Asian/Pacific ancestries committed to working together toward a common goal: to create an organization that would address the needs of Asian/Pacific American librarians and those who serve Asian/Pacific American communities.

The winners will each receive an award plaque at the APALA Award Ceremony on Sunday, June 30, 2013 during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.

ForeWord Magazine 2011 Book of the Year Finalist

ForeWord Magazine announced its list of 2011 Book of the Year Finalists today, and Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth is on the list! Congratulations! According to ForeWord Magazine:


ForeWord's Book of the Year Awards program was designed for booksellers and librarians to share in the process of discovering distinctive books across a number of genres with judgments based on their own authority and on patron interests. After months of winnowing down the award finalists' list, the editors at ForeWord are confident in their selections, and our judges agree, saying this year's titles are the best they've seen!

NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book 2012

Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth has been been selected by the National Council for the Social Studies in association with the Children's Book Council as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book of 2012.

This bibliography features K-12 annotated titles published in the previous calendar year, selected by a book review committee appointed by the NCSS. Titles are grouped by subject, including: Biography; Contemporary Concerns; Environment and Ecology; Folktales; Geography, Peoples, and Places; History, Life, and Culture in the Americas; Reference; Social Interaction and Relationships; World History and Culture; and Economics. Each annotation contains bibliographic data and a brief description.

The list will be available online in June, but copies of the annotated list are available now for $5 per copy (includes S&H).
Please send a check to:
The Children's Book Council, Inc.
attn: Social Studies
12 West 37th Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10018

Every year, the Sun Gallery in Hayward, California holds a children's book art exhibit. This year, artist Jessica Lanan's illustrations from Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth will be on display. And they have featured her artwork on their promotional postcard! Lovely!

sungallery23-1.jpgSun Gallery 23rd Annual Children's Book Illustrators Exhibit
February 15 to April 7, 2012
1015 E Street
Hayward, CA 94541

Feb. 4, 2012: Joan Schoettler at Willow Bridge Books

Author Joan Schoettler will be signing her book, Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth, this Saturday at Willow Bridge Books. Willow Bridge Books is an independent bookstore located in Oakhurst, California.  Nestled between the scenic landscapes of the San Joaquin Valley and Yosemite National Park, the bookstore serves the communities in Madera and Mariposa counties.

February 4, 2012, 1:00pm
Willow Bridge Books
40044 Hwy 49
Oakhurst, CA  93644

School Library Journal

The November, 2011 issue of School Library Journal contains a very nice review of Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth, by Joan Schoettler and illustrated by Jessica Lanan:

"Ji-su, a girl in 18th-century Korea, is devastated when her mother is selected to sew for the king. It is an honor for the family, but it means a life apart, and Eomma has no choice in the matter. Ji-su is determined to learn to sew bojagi-- wrapping cloths-- as skillfully as her mother so that she will also work at the palace. Descriptive language and stunning watercolor paintings show the seasons passing as Ji-su works toward her goal. With a masterful eye for color and skillful use of perspective, Lanan brings the text to life and adds depth to Ji-su's emotions. When Ji-su presents her bojagi to the sewing master, the low perspective makes the men seem to tower over her, and readers feel her trepidation and the importance of the moment. Densely packed with Korean customs and vocabulary, the writing is nuanced and evocative: "Eomma and Ji-su held each other like threads in a seam." There is a glossary, but without some familiarity with Korean culture, it is difficult to infer the meaning of some words. Although the complexity of this book may limit its appeal for general audiences, Good Fortune is a treasure for libraries serving Korean populations."

A treasure!
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco is hosting the Korean Foundation Korean Culture Day on September  17, 2011 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. As part of the festivities, which are free with museum admission, author Joan Schoettler will be on hand signing copies of Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth at 2:00 pm.

Here is what the Asian Art Museum says about the event:
Chuseok is the Korean holiday of the autumn harvest during the full moon, when people visit their hometowns and feast with family and friends. This family fun day for all ages offers docent tours, storytelling, food tastings, music, and art. Korean musicians Kang Eun-il & Haegum Plus will perform their "new music" for the first time in the Bay Area. Artists Shin Meekyung and Lee Kang Hyo will demonstrate new and traditional forms of ceramic art.

And here is the day's schedule:
Explore and Join In
Education Studios and  North Court
12:00 noon-4:00 pm
Watch two artists from Korea demonstrating new and old forms of Korean art! Shin Meekyoung uses ceramic forms and imagery as the inspiration for her soap sculptures, and ceramist Lee Kang Hyo follows ancient way of pottery making using a simple kick-wheel and red and white clay. Make an artwork to take home inspired by artists.
South Court
2:00-3:00 pm
Meet the author of the new book "Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth". Joan Schoettler signs and discusses how she was inspired to write her book after viewing Korean wrapping cloths (bojagi) at the Asian Art Museum. The book is available for purchase at the museum store.
Korean Galleries and Resource Room Pick up a copy of the Family Gallery Activity Guide for the Poetry In Clay exhibition, and learn to look at the artworks in a different way.
Learn and Discover
Samsung Hall
12:30 and 3:00 pm
Discover "New music" of Korea! Musical group Haegum Plus performs. Musical director Kang uses haegum, a two-stringed vertical fiddle-like instrument, along with guitar and keyboard, and fuses Korean music with jazz and western classical music.
Korean Galleries*
11:00 am and 1:30 pm
Asian Art Museum's storytellers tell myths and folktales from Korea. Special 15 min. tour at 11 am for families with kids ages 3-6.
Korean Galleries*
11:30 am and 2:00 pm
Join the museum's docents for a tour of new exhibition the Poetry in Clay with your family.
Korean Galleries*
2:30 pm (Korean only) and 4:00 pm (English only)
Join the special tour of Poetry In Clay exhibition with Associate Curator of Korean Art, Hyonjeong Kim Han, and listen to her behind-the-scene stories.
Resource Room Meet students from Oakland Korean School in Oakland and see their Youth Inspiration Artwork Display; play with IPads to checkout latest K-pop and other great videos from the Asian Art Museum.
South Court Just for teachers!  Learn about the museum's school programs and resources. Browse the museum's teacher education resources and pick up a poster.
Make and Do
North Court
11:00 am-4:00 pm
Make an artwork to take home! Get inspired by art in the galleries and enjoy fun art activities with your friends and family.
South Court
1:00 pm-3:00 pm
Taste sweet rice called yaksik (or yakbap)! It is a sweet dish made by steaming glutinous rice with chestnuts and pine nuts, seasoned with honey, sesame oil, and soy sauce, generally eaten on traditional holidays as well as weddings and other festivities.
And More
Museum Café and  Outside Korean tacos and more! San Francisco's Gourmet food trucks join the museum for the day's festivities. Also the museum's Café Asia offers affordable Asian-fusion dishes for the whole family.


Visit the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art this Saturday for an afternoon of Bojagi art making along with author Joan Schoettler, who will bring alive the landscape and culture of Korea reading from her children's book, Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth. Surrounded by inspiration from the Museum's current Bojagi exhibition: create your own wrapping cloth using fabric and paper to stitch, staple, glue, and fasten into one-of-a-kind artworks!

$5 for materials and admission. All ages welcome, 5+.

Children's book reading + Bojagi art making with Joan Schoettler
San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art
Saturday, July 9, 2011
2:00pm - 4:00pm
51 Yerba Buena Lane
San Francisco, CA 94103

June 15, 2011: Book Launch with Author Joan Schoettler

petunia's place.jpgJoan Schoettler, author of Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth, will be sending off her new picture book on June 15, 2011 at Petunia's Place Bookstore in Fresno, California. There will be a presentation, reception, and book signing from 5:30pm until 7:00. Books will be available for purchase.

Petunia's Place Bookstore is the oldest and only children's bookstore in Fresno, known for its wide selection of books for children and young adults as well as books on parenting and books for educators.

Joan Schoettler presentation, reception, & signing
June 15, 2011, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Petunia's Place Bookstore
at the Opus I Shopping Center
6027 North Palm Ave.
Fresno, CA 93704

"Beautifully written, informative, and poetic. Ji-Su's hopes and dreams come alive on each page. A gorgeous book for readers of any age."

- Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree

Joan Schoettler has surrounded herself with children’s literature, sharing it with her sons when they were young, inviting children she taught to step into the world of stories, and teaching children’s literature at California State University, Fresno. In addition to spending time with family and friends, she enjoys reading, gardening, and traveling. Joan lives with her husband in California.

Jessica Lanan has been in love with illustrated books since an early age. A Colorado native, she received her B.A. In art at Scripps College and has traveled extensively in Asia and Europe. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she enjoys thunderstorms, crunching autumn leaves beneath her feet, and leaving footprints in freshly fallen snow. This is her first book.

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.

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School Library Journal

Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth

By Joan Schoettler
Illustrated by Jessica Lanan
$17.95, Hardcover, 32 pages
English Text
Ages 4-8
ISBN-10: 1885008406
ISBN-13: 9781885008404

Add to Cart