The Most Perfect Persimmon
A young girl watches persimmons ripen as she waits for her grandmother’s visit in this charming debut about family and patience.
Joo Hong is certain that Persimmon A is the right choice. Round like a full moon, amber like the morning sun, and just picked from the tree this morning, it is the best persimmon she has ever seen. Joo Hong takes the persimmon home for Mama to cut into slices to taste. The persimmons are bitter! It looks like they’ll need more time to ripen.
Maybe it’s a good thing that Joo Hong will have to wait—after all, Grandma is the one who will
love these persimmons most, but Grandma lives far away and isn’t visiting for a few weeks.
But it is hard to wait! Joo Hong ventures back to the tree again and again eager for the perfect
persimmon. One day, a persimmon falls off the tree with a THUNK! Surely, Persimmon B is ready.
Yes! It tastes delicious. Grandma needs to come over right now to try it. But…Grandma’s visit is
days away. Joo Hong does everything in her power to keep the persimmons perfect, but despite
her best efforts, the fruits slowly turn from Persimmon B to C to (gasp) D, showing spots and
even wrinkles! Finally, Grandma arrives at Joo Hong’s house. The waiting is done, but all Joo
Hong has to welcome her grandmother with is an ugly, mushy persimmon. That’s when Grandma
grabs a spoon, turns the persimmon upside down, peels it, and presents Persimmon D as hongshi.
Tender on the outside, silky and juicy on the inside, hongshis are imperfect persimmons that
become the best dessert, but only with love and patience. Joo Hong has given Grandma the
perfect hongshi to eat together with Mama.
The Most Perfect Persimmon understands that for kids (and adults) waiting is hard, but
worth it—whether that means finally seeing your grandma, eating a really yummy dessert, or
both! The Most Perfect Persimmon also explores the reality that our expectations may not
always be right, how that feels and what it means. While we might be disappointed when things
don’t go as planned, something even better may be in store—if only we look at it from a different
angle (or, in this case, upside-down).
A multigenerational story, The Most Perfect Persimmonalso demonstrates to young readers how they can reinforce the bonds of family through food and time spent together, engaging in cultural touchstones passed down from their elders. Reading The Most Perfect Persimmon together, young readers and their adults (family members, teachers, librarians, and maybe even the persimmon tree in the yard) will join in the joy and experience this spoonful of Korean culture.