As my holiday to Finland, Sweden and Estonia approaches I decided to do a bit of a clear-out by reading some short books that I have had kicking around my house for months. My library had withdrawn both North Korea, part of the Scholastic A True Book series, by Tara Walters and North Korea by Elizabeth Raum, from the Countries Around the World series by Heinemann. I never intended to keep these books, as neither graced my bookshelves. They just sat on my living room floor until I decided to read them, as I was genuinely interested in what a juvenile monograph on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would be like. Since I didn’t want to be stuck still reading a book on the eve of a holiday, I have focussed on reading only short books as my departure date approaches. Perfect excuse to finally read these two and then get rid of them.
The Walters book was published in 2008 and only 48 pages, yet cost $31.50–and that was eleven years ago. That is expensive for a juvenile hardcover. It was printed in very large type and had beautiful glossy photos. Since I am throwing this book out I might pilfer it for propaganda purposes.
The Raum book was a paperback published in 2012 also at 48 pages. The Dear Leader Comrade General Kim Jong Il died in December of 2011, yet the book did not mention his death. It did mention Kim Jong Un, however, and that he was being groomed–perhaps–as the next leader. It too had glossy photos but I found the ones in the Walters book to be more vivid.
Neither book was politically biased, and just stated the facts about the country. I got through the Walters book, admiring the photos and all, in about ten minutes.