Say My Name

HarperCollins. Sept. 2023. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063205338.
Gr 1-3–Many children understand the frustration and pain that comes with having a name that their teachers, doctors, and other adults outside of their families cannot seem to correctly pronounce. The book takes that experience very seriously, offering its readers an opportunity to take pride in the beautiful origins of their names. Children from several underrepresented cultures, from Tongan to Persian, can be found in this title and each celebrates their names and the meanings behind them. The text is gorgeously lyrical, as lovingly constructed as the illustrations that accompany it, depicting the characters in their native landscapes, surrounded by patterns inspired by the art of their people. Readers and educators alike will be delighted to see the back matter that includes how to correctly pronounce these names they’ve learned so much about. Ho, acknowledging that she is writing outside of her own culture and experiences, credits the different people that helped bring life to this book. She has quickly become a go-to source for affirming children’s literature, and her adoration for her growing audience of young readers is etched into every page.
VERDICT A moving title that honors its readers and encourages them to feel confident in their cultural identities.

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