Behind the Mask

by Yangsook Choi

Hardcover, 2006





Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (2006), Edition: 1st, 40 pages


Kimin, a young Korean-American boy, has trouble deciding on a Halloween costume, but as he looks through an old trunk of his grandfather's things, he suddenly unlocks a childhood mystery.

User reviews

LibraryThing member hvachetta
A young Korean boy decides to dress up like his grandfather for Halloween. When Kimin puts on his grandfather's dancing mask, which used to frighten him, he gains a new respect for his grandfather; later, he finds a note in the mask revealing that his grandfather always intended for him to have it, and that the mask is a sign that his spirit will always be a part of Kimin's life. This is a sweet story with a message kids who have lost a relative, particularly an older one, may like to hear.… (more)
LibraryThing member bsalomon
Kimin tries to decide what to be for Halloween and his mother suggests he wear something out of his grandfather’s trunk. Kimin is afraid to open it because when he was younger he was scared by a mask that his grandfather was wearing. He overcomes the fear and wears a costume from the trunk and finds a message from his grandfather hidden in a mask. This is a great story for children to read before Halloween. This story also teaches history about other cultures.… (more)
LibraryThing member David-Z
Behind the Mask by Yangsook Choi

David Ziegler's review
Feb 22, 14

4 of 5 stars

bookshelves: picturebooks, multicultural, halloween, family

Masks hold the power of pretense, play, mystery and fascination. Behind the Mask by Yangsook Choi is a sweet story of young Korean American boy Kimin who wears an old family dance costume for trick or treating and discovers a link to his grandfather.

Yangsook Choi's colorful illustrations beautifully feature orange, green, red, brown and black hues. Her pictures support and extend the text well. My favorite images include blanket, peeking, gruesome, neighborhood kids and bedroom dancing.

This tale joins Korean and American fold traditions: traditional Korean folk dance and American trick or treating on Halloween. Korean writing is featured on several pages. An Author's Note gives background about Talchum. or Korean mask dance.

Behind the Mask is a charming, multicultural story that is a strong choice for Halloween storytimes. Four stars. For ages 5 to 7.5, masks, Halloween, dancing, fear, Korea, Korean-American, and fans of Yangsook Choi.
… (more)
LibraryThing member cduke3
I liked the book "Behind the Mask," by Yangsoo Choi. Firstly, I liked multicultural aspect. In the book, the main character is a young boy who reconnects with his Korean roots through his deceased grandfather's belongings. Specifically, he connects with a traditional mask and robe that his grandfather preformed in while living in Korea. Another part was the use of Korean characters in the illustrations. One example of this is his grandfather wrote his grandson a note. The note is part of the picture and written in Korean. The English translation is part of the main text, and is accurate. Finally, I enjoyed the message of the story. The main idea of this book is a young boy connecting to his ancestral roots. I specifically enjoyed this part because, I have a son who is a Korean American. This book allowed my son and his grandparents to interact in a way that they haven't been able with literature.… (more)
LibraryThing member Dipodomy
The story of a Korean boy who finds his deceased grandfather's tal (mask) and wears it for Halloween. In doing so he learns about his grandfather and his heritage and is able to share that information with his friends and form a deeper connection with his grandfather. I found the book to be a nice blend of overlapping ideas from different cultures, although the painting style is not my favorite.… (more)


Original language


Physical description

40 p.; 8.98 inches


0374305226 / 9780374305222


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