Juna and Appa
By Kirkus Reviews
While helping at her family’s store, a little girl daydreams of animal adventures that remind her of her father’s love.
Juna loves going with Appa, her father, to his dry-cleaning shop on Saturdays; she enjoys feeling the soft steam of the pant presser and sorting the colorful spools of thread. But when a customer claims his jacket is lost and Juna’s attempts to recover it seem more of a distraction than a service, her imagination takes flight. Conjuring up everything from a giant, nuzzling bird to a water bug that offers a piggyback ride, she realizes parental love comes in many forms. Not wanting her father to worry, the kindhearted heroine offers her own savings for a replacement coat. Her father refuses and, to reassure her, leads her by the hand to their beloved taco truck across the street. Hoshino’s watercolor illustrations, with their soft, dreamlike quality, are perfectly matched to Juna’s musings. Delicate patterning and fanciful play of scale will captivate readers, while the warm glow of the shop brings the Korean American girl’s emotional connection and sense of place to life in this love letter to the mom-and-pop shops that carry the hopes, dreams, and hard work of the families who run them.
Alight with generosity and familial love.