If you haven’t hopped into the It’s Okay to Not Be Okay train yet, what have you been waiting for? While there’s still romance involved in the plot, the exploration of mental health is quite a refreshing take in K-dramaland. It’s also interesting to see the way the drama uses fairytales — familiar or otherwise — to make the storytelling all the more captivating. That’s why if you loved the drama, we think you’d love the fairytale books just as much — which you can now get a copy of! Check out how below.
What is the drama all about?
As a writer of children’s books, Ko Moon Yeong, the female lead of the drama, draws from her life experiences to create her stories, particularly as she was growing up as a child. Oftentimes, each fairytale story is used in juxtaposition with the drama’s plot to expound on the story better. While the drawings may seem grotesque at first glance, there’s a life lesson in each of them — or at least, a better understanding of the characters and their thoughts and feelings.
The Boy Who Fed on Nightmares
The first fairytale introduced in the series, The Boy Who Fed on Nightmares, follows a young boy who suffered from severe nightmares. He found a witch who could make them stop — except she takes away more than just his nightmares. He is left feeling empty, and when they meet again, the boy asks the witch why he doesn’t feel any joy at all. In reply, the witch tells him that only those who know pain can attain happiness.
The Zombie Child
The second story is about a mother and her child so ugly and different from humans. Trying to protect him from other people, she hides him in the basement, feeding him whatever she can get her hands on. But when a pandemic strikes their village, all the other villagers flee until only the mother and child are left alone. And with nothing to feed her child, the mother cuts her own arms and legs for her child to eat. Eventually, only her torso remains, so she hugs her child to let him eat her. But instead, her child just says, “Mother is so warm.”
The Cheerful Dog
This one is the safest in terms of art style and plotline — at least safest if you want to read it to a child. The Cheerful Dog tells the story of a dog tied to a small porch by a tree and how happy and energetic he is in the mornings when the villagers are around to play with him and how sad and desolate he would get when night comes. A voice asked him, “Why don’t you just cut off your leash?” But he couldn’t, because he had forgotten how to do so. He became so used to being tied up that he didn’t know any other life. And so happiness and freedom remains out of his grasp, because he doesn’t want to step out of his bubble.
How much are the books?
Each book costs 10,800 KRW (about 450 PHP). It’s a good price! Except you have to consider the additional fees like shipping and taxes. So it might be about 800 to 900 PHP, more or less.
Where can you buy them?
The books are available for purchase through Yes24 and Kyobo Books, as well as other retailers, although at the moment, only Kyobo Books ships overseas for these products. Shipping fee to the Philippines is about 13,700 KRW (approximately 600 PHP).
A special edition has also been released if you’d rather have them all in one bound book. It’s a compilation of all three fairy tales with a special inclusion of five illustrated postcards. It’s 15,120 KRW per copy, which is about 650 PHP each.
More to come
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There may be more fairytale stories from the show, so it might be possible that other books would be released. In the meantime, other merchandise has been produced for sale. Just last July 19, two mini dolls or plushies were released for preorder: the Mang Tae doll, which Moon Gang Tae made for his brother Sang Tae and eventually gave to Ko Moon Yeong; and the Dinosaur doll, which Sang Tae is never found without.
Unfortunately, the dolls aren’t available for shipping to the Philippines, so you could join group orders by local specialty shops like Aegyo Korean Merchandise.
Would you buy your own copies? Tell us below.