Your Name Is a Song

Innovation Pr. Jul. 2020. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781943147724.
PreS-Gr 3–This story simultaneously imparts a strong spark of sensibility and envelops readers in a warm embrace through an overdue, crucial lesson about the significance of honoring every individual’s cultural identity, including the respectful care to correctly learn another’s name. At the end of the first day of school, Kora-Jalimuso, the story’s young Black Muslim protagonist, shares her sorrow with her mother over her teacher and classmates’ inability to pronounce her name. Her mother’s response lifts the girl’s—and readers’—spirits by illuminating the resonating meaning and power of diverse names through song. As the gently rendered scenes of this heartfelt talk unfold, Uribe’s expressive details capture the musicality of different names. Fine, swooping lines and blooming silhouettes of pastel color flow through each page, matching the mother’s musical notes and Kora-Jalimuso’s growing sense of understanding and confidence in her ability to pass this lesson on to others. The book concludes with a glossary and a pronunciation guide, emphasizing the beauty and significance of all the names featured.
VERDICT For all collections, this is a heartwarming tale with a simple yet critical message of respecting the pronunciation of an individual’s name and honoring the importance of identity and cultural heritage.

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