The Love of Two Stars is a retelling of a traditional Korean legend. It tells the story of two stars, Altair and Vega – or Kyonu and Jingnyo as they are known in Korea – that meet in the Milky Way on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar year.
Kyonu, a farmer, and Jingnyo, a weaver, live in a kingdom in the starry sky. Kyonu is a good farmer and has the strongest steers in the land. Jingnyo is a good weaver and makes the strongest and most beautiful cloth in the land. One day, they meet in a garden and fall instantly in love. But they spend too much time together, and the people’s farms go unplowed and their clothes begin to wear thin. The king becomes angry with the lovers and banishes them to the ends of the galaxy – Kyonu to the East and Jingnyo to the West. They can only meet once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.
But when the time comes to be reunited, there is no bridge or boat for them to cross the Milky Way and so their tears flood the earth – until the magpies and crows realize they can help! (But I won’t give the ending away!) The tears Kyonu and Jingnyo shed when they have to part this time are gentle tears that nourish the earth.
The author was born in Seoul, Korea, and was told the tale by her own grandmother when she was a little girl. The book is full of rich, lush acrylic illustrations and is probably best suited to children aged four to eight. It can be read individually, in small groups, or even perhaps in a story-time. The Love of Two Stars provides a nice counterpart to Western fairy- and folk-tales, particularly in our increasingly diverse classrooms. It is valuable for children to realize that those who live in or come from different countries have their own treasured stories.
Check the WRL catalog for The Love of Two Stars.