Say My Name
This is a poetically written book on the importance of making the effort to learn to pronounce each other's names correctly. Ho’s prose introduces us to six children and their names. They are from China, Tonga, Persia, the Diné people, the Nahua people of Mexico, and the Akan people of Ghana. Through the text we gain small insights into the cultures of the children such as the Tongan connection to the ocean, and Akan dancing and drumming.
This book would be particularly relevant for both migrant children and for those welcoming migrant children into their communities. It is a book to be read to younger children as there are words that would not be known by average English readers in this age range. They will however enjoy the rhythm of the text and the vibrant illustrations. Le’s vivid illustrations dominate the pages with portraits of the children are surrounded by bright bold colours, scenery, abstract art, and motifs from each culture.
Older readers will be introduced to new vocabulary and will be in a better position to engage with the concepts of the prose. That is, what can be contained in a name: meaning, history, connection to ancestors. The pronunciation guide will be enjoyed by all as older children learn the pronunciations and younger readers try out potentially new sounds. It takes a little time to familiarise ourselves with names we have not yet encountered but this book reminds us that we must.