Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 29, 2022

Book Giveaway: MOMMY’S HOMETOWN by Hope Lim

Hope Lim has a new picture book, MOMMY’S HOMETOWN, illustrated by Jaime Kim and published by Candlewick Press. It will hit bookshelves on April 12th, but is available for preorder now. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Hope and Jaime.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


When a young boy and his mother travel overseas to her childhood home in Korea, the town is not as he imagined. Will he be able to see it the way Mommy does?

This gentle, contemplative picture book about family origins invites us to ponder the meaning of home. A young boy loves listening to his mother describe the place where she grew up, a world of tall mountains and friends splashing together in the river. Mommy’s stories have let the boy visit her homeland in his thoughts and dreams, and now he’s old enough to travel with her to see it for himself. But when mother and son arrive, the town is not as he imagined. Skyscrapers block the mountains, and crowds hurry past. The boy feels like an outsider—until they visit the river where his mother used to play, and he sees that the spirit and happiness of those days remain. Sensitively pitched to a child’s-eye view, this vivid story honors the immigrant experience and the timeless bond between parent and child, past and present.


MOMMY’S HOMETOWN was inspired by real-life experiences. Since moving to America, I have regularly visited my parents in Korea, but am always surprised by the continual changes that have slowly altered my hometown. When I became a mother, I took my kids and husband to the river where I used to play as a child. While watching them play and catch minnows and crawfish in the river, I was overtaken by a sense of nostalgia for the time and scenes from my childhood, as everything around the river had changed so much. In the distance, glimpses of mountains brought me back to a time that is long gone. At that moment, I wanted to write something that captures the passage of time and changes that have taken place. That became the seed for MOMMY’S HOMETOWN.

On our way home from the river, my husband asked if I would still come back to the river or my hometown if my parents weren’t here anymore. I thought about the question and realized that the presence of my parents and their love, which have stayed the same throughout the years of change, are what makes my hometown so special. Like the old river that runs through the city unchanged, my parents’ presence and love are steadfast. So that sentiment became the theme of MOMMY’S HOMETOWN.

There were two distinct moments and images that came to me when I wrote a draft of Mommy’s hometown. First, the old house that was once the best one in town. It still sits a few blocks away from my parent’s house. Whenever I passed by, I glanced its worn-out façade and the overgrown trees above its wall. The house appeared neglected and abandoned unlike its old glory days. Then one evening, I walked by the house and was surprised by the warm light glowing inside the house, a sign that someone was living inside. That’s when I realized this old house was home to a family, despite its unkempt look on the outside.

The second is my parents’ neighborhood in Daejon, which is a mix of old and new. I have special affinity toward the old buildings that have withstood the test of time. However, I can’t help wondering how long they will last in a place that is constantly changing. Then one evening, on my way from the old river, I noticed how every building, old and new, on the entire block was lit up, looking completely different from daytime. With bright neon and people going in and out, they seemed to take on new life as the night descended. I included this sentiment in MOMMY’S HOMETOWN, and Jaime captured it so brilliantly into a place bustling with people and action.

Looking back, MOMMY’S HOMETOWN started with a single image of an old river flowing through a village, an image that stayed in my mind for a long time. Then I began the story with two lines describing the river from morning to evening, and from there, I built a story based on mental notes I made during my visits to home over many years. I enjoyed the process of reliving memories from my childhood and recalling the many feasts my mom prepared for each visit. She would make special kimchi in months before our visits and save persimmons she harvested from her tree, and we savored them as one of our summer treats. She always expressed her love through food and even to this day, we often talked about many memorable dishes she made for us. Initially, I tried to include Grandma as a more significant character, but eventually changed the story with a focus on the mother-child connection. I still managed to give a nod to my mom’s unchanging love and steady presence with her welcoming and caring gestures.

I would say MOMMY’S HOMETOWN is an accumulation of my visits and thoughts on my hometown. I am so grateful and amazed that my personal story about my hometown has been made into a book and will be shared with the world. MOMMY’S HOMETOWN is about a mother/child connection that transcends time and place; a connection that is rooted in love and sharing. I hope that this book makes people take a moment to appreciate things that stay the same in times of constant change, whether they are family love, memories of home or childhood, a particular place, or an important person in our hearts.


Hope Lim is a children’s book author from South Korea and now lives in San Francisco with her family.

Hope has always loved language. She majored in English Literature and earned a Master’s degree in Conference Interpretation. For many years, she navigated the world of diplomats, working as an interpreter for the US State Department. Then motherhood ushered her into the world of children’s literature, where she discovered the power of picture books, which transcends time, place, and language.

Now, Hope continues her love of language by reading with her two children and writing stories, often inspired by them. She runs everyday, practices yoga, and indulges in dark chocolate while trying to translate her inner child’s emotions into words.


Jaime Kim(pronounced JAY-ME) was born and raised in South Korea before moving to the USA when she was 18.

Although she was a timid child who was afraid of just about everything, she discovered a sense of serenity in drawing. As a grown-up, Jaime finally stopped being afraid of everything, but kept on drawing and painting. She works with gouache, watercolors and acrylics to create nostalgic and dreamlike illustrations, inspired by childhood memories of her family, as well as movies, art, and the outside world. Her favorite things are the sun, the moon, the sky and stars – which is why they always creep into her artwork. Her debut illustrated picture book, Take Heart, My Child, was a #1 New York Times-bestseller.

Hope, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. I love how this book ties the reader to the characters, letting them see the place where the boy’s mom grew up and how it helps bond him with his family history. Even though it is a story about the immigrant experience, it is a timeless story. Everyone wants to know about the family that came before them. Jaime’s illustrations are wonderful. I am a big fan of her artwork. Best of luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. what a wonderful story idea and beautiful book


  2. Great post Kathy & Hope! I really love this book. So fun to watch a CP’s story become a book! [Don’t put me in the running – I have the book :-)]


  3. I’m sure that MOMMY’S HOMETOWN will become one of my mentor texts, since so many of my stories revolve around a sense of home. I shared your post on Twitter.


    • You won this book. I will announce it tomorrow3. Do you still live indiana?


  4. Beautiful story and illustrations, Hope and Jaime. Congratulations!


  5. Very timely theme. Nice job!


  6. This sounds so heartwarming and lovely 🙂 I can’t wait to read this!! The art looks beautiful, too!! Congrats Hope and Jaime!!


  7. I also shared this post on my Twitter.


  8. My heartstrings were pulled every step of the way through reading this book’s journey! Readers will naturally make their own connections about home and family as they read this story. Beautiful illustrations. Congrats to Hope and Jaime!


  9. This sounds wonderful! Congratulations, Hope, and thanks for sharing, Kathy! I am sharing on FB and twitter. I subscribe to this blog.


  10. I have visited S. Korea several times and amazed at the changes over the years.
    This looks like such a special book that I look forward to reading.
    (blog follower)


  11. What a special story. Beautiful work, Hope and Jaime! Congrats.


  12. Hope ~ I always love reading a story’s journey! Thanks for sharing your past and Korea with us.

    Kathy ~ I also receive your blog via email.


  13. Best of luck with Mommy’s Hometown. I sounds like a lovely book. I look forward to reading it. I shared on twitter.


  14. What a lovely idea for a book! The illustrations look amazing.


  15. Hope, I’m so glad to see your story come to life!


  16. Wow! Had to share it both in twitter and FB! Your work looks amazing! Kids will love it!


  17. Your book is beautiful! Congratulations, Hope and Jaime!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post.


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