The Turtle Ship

By Kirkus Reviews

Loosely based on the life of Yi Sun-Sin, a Korean admiral in the 1500s, the story of an inquisitive boy who takes inspiration from his pet turtle [Gobugi] to design an iconic battle ship. Rhee economically narrates Sun-sin's many trial and errors until the boy finally realizes the advantages of Gobugi's natural adaptations and presents his ideas to court. Despite initial resistance and mockery, the royal court witness Gobugi's natural defenses in action against a cat and commissions the titular Turtle Ship. The splendor of Kong-Savage's paper collages adds to the storytelling with rich overlapping compositions and patterns. The subsequent successes of Adm. Yi Sun-Sin and his Turtle Ships are rendered beautifully in thoughtfully composed land- and seascapes. [T]his debut packs a double punch modeling the experimental process while spotlighting an intriguing historical figure and his warcraft.