Interview with Children’s Book Author, Helena Ku Rhee

Helena Ku Rhee

Today I will be interviewing Helena Ku Rhee, author of The Paper Kingdom. She is also author of The Turtle Ship and Sora’s Seashells. Helena Ku Rhee works as a VP at Sony Pictures, and also as a writer of children’s books. Helena’s lifelong dream was to be a writer, and she has been in love with picture books as an art form ever since she was a kid. You can visit Helena on her website for more information about her writing journey at helenakrhee.com.

The Paper Kingdom is beautifully illustrated by Pascal Campion, a prolific French American illustrator who has worked in animation for over fifteen years.

The Paper Kingdom

The Paper Kingdom is based on her childhood, and has received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, who called the book “Enchanting and powerful.” It is also on the list of Most Anticipated Children’s Books of 2020 by BookPage.

When I began reading this book, I immediately loved it! The story, artwork and perspective is unique and helps trigger many wonderful conversations with children. The Paper Kingdom is about a young boy named Daniel who reluctantly goes with his parents to work after his babysitter cancels. His parents are night janitors, which means that their work day starts when most people are going to sleep. For many children going to work with his parents can be tiring and boring but Daniel’s parents make this night full of magic and imagination! It’s a beautiful story about family, optimism and perspective.

Language Tips

Listen to our podcast above for tips! Throughout this book there are many opportunities for conversation such as “What is a night janitor?” “How does Daniel feel at the beginning of the book?” “What is the paper kingdom?” “How did his parents make coming to work fun for Daniel?” “Who cleans up your school at night?” “How can we show appreciation for the hard workers at night who clean up your school?”

The Paper Kingdom
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