Review: Rosa’s Song

The creators of The Paper Kingdom are back with another beautiful picture book! Rosa’s Song by Helena Ku Rhee and Pascal Campion tells the story of a young immigrant from South Korea who finds community and friendship in an unfamiliar place.

Title: Rosa’s Song
Author: Helena Ku Rhee
Illustrator: Pascal Campion
Publisher: Random House Studio
Published: June 14, 2021
Format: Picture Book

Inspired by an incident from the author’s childhood as the daughter of immigrants, Rosa’s Song follows a young boy name Jae who misses his home. He doesn’t speak the language in his new home. His apartment feels empty until he makes friends with a young girl named Rosa and her colorful bird, Pollito, who she sings a song with. Rosa and Jae become fast friends as they spend the summer using their imaginations to visit Jae’s old village.

But one morning, Jae wakes up to find Pollito in his room. Rosa and her family had to move away, and Rosa left Pollito behind for Jae. Jae is understandably saddened by this turn of events, but eventually remembers Rosa fondly when Pollito sings her song. He and Pollito meet two other newly arrived kids in their building and welcome them the same way Rosa welcomed Jae.

Whether you’re looking for a window for young readers to see others’ experiences or a mirror for young readers to see their own, I highly recommend Rosa’s Song.

The illustrations are absolutely lovely. I especially appreciate the way they capture the nostalgia of childhood and the joy of spending summer with friends.

Rosa’s Song is available now wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you so much to Random House Kids and Blue Slip Media for sharing this fantastic book with me.

About the Author:

Helena Ku Rhee grew up in Los Angeles, but has also lived in various parts of the U.S., Asia and Europe. She has a soft spot for small, stout animals and loves to travel far and wide across this beautiful planet, counting among her favorite journeys a camping trip in the Sahara Desert, a swim with elephants in Thailand and a horseback-riding tour of Easter Island. Helena works at a movie studio by day, and dreams up story ideas in her spare time. She currently lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at or follow her on Twitter @Helenarhee.

About The Illustrator:

Pascal Campion is a prolific French-American illustrator and visual development artist whose clients include: DreamWorks Animation, Paramount Pictures, Disney Feature, Disney Toons, Cartoon Network, Hulu, and PBS. Working in the animation industry for over 15 years, he has steadily posted over 3,000 images of personal work to his “Sketches of the Day” project since 2005. He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on Instagram (@pascalcampionart) or Twitter @pascalcampion.

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