Sora’s Seashells

Recipient of the 2024 Ezra Jack Keats Award Honor for Writing

A girl learns the meaning of her unique name and gains the courage to address school bullies, thanks to her grandmother. Published by Candlewick Press (a division of Walker Books). Illustrations by Stella Lim and Ji-Hyuk Kim, both based in South Korea. Luminous watercolors capture the seaside setting of the story. 

Watch the re-play of Helena’s chat with the Los Angeles Public Library about Sora’s Seashells (learn a big secret about Helena’s name + writing/publishing tips!):


Recipient of the 2024 Ezra Jack Keats Award Honor for Writer.

A tender tale of loss and love. The illustrators deftly layer shadows and blurs boundaries between colors, evoking the feeling of a warm memory. The gently paced narrative reveals Sora, now understanding her grandmother’s words, bringing her jar of shells for show and tell. — Kirkus Reviews

In this poignant picture book, Rhee unspools an uplifting tale with soothing narration that harmonizes beautifully with Lim’s stunning watercolor art. The blending of paint creates shadows to accentuate Sora’s grief over her Halmoni and the loneliness she feels at school. Young readers will find Sora’s confidence empowering and see that her story honors the strengths in both kindness and confidence. — The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Sora’s Seashells is a touching tale, complete with enchanting illustrations, about the gift of the grandparent-grandchild relationship, the gift of a name, and the gift of kindness. —Hakai Magazine