Perfect Book Friday / My Name is Yoon

Book Cover of My Name is Yoon

Title: My Name is Yoon

Written and Illustrated by: Helen Recorvits and Gabi Swiatkowska

Themes: Multicultural, immigration, fitting in, identity, Diversity, belonging,

Resources: http://it.pinellas.k12.fl.us/Teachers3/gurianb/ReadingUnit1.html for teacher guides on vocab spelling words for reading material created by different teachers for grades one and two. For an edu glog: http://wedmank.edu.glogster.com/multicultural-glog .

U tube: Of a video of the author reading her book, My Name is Yoon.

Awards:  

American Library Association Notable Children’s Books;

IRA Notable Books for a Global Society

Child Magazine Best Books of the Year

Nick, Jr. Family Magazine Best Books of the Year

Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year

Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year

Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award

Book list Editors’ Choice

Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of the Year

School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

Georgia Children’s Book Award Master List

Illinois Monarch Award

K-3 Children’s Choice Award Master List

New York Charlotte Award Master List

What the Jacket says: Yoon’s name means Shining Wisdom, and when she writes it in Korean, it looks happy, like dancing figures. But her father tells her that she must learn to write it in English. In English all the lines and circles stand alone, which is just how Yoon feels in this United States. Yoon isn’t sure that she wants to be YOON. At her new school, she tries out different names – maybe CAT or BIRD. Maybe CUPCAKE!

Helen Recorvits and Gabi Swiatkowska have together given us an inspiring and luminous picture book about a little girl as she finds her place in a new country.

Why I loved it: As a new immigrant at age seven I remember all the trouble I had with my name. It was never pronounced right, Clarike de Groot and my brother Gert’s name was changed to John. As a family every day after dinner we sat around the dinner table learning English until we mastered it enough for acceptance by the schools and our peers. In fact in third grade I was punished for talking too much while the teacher was talking! I really identified with this book. As many new immigrant’s children coming into the country learn their name in English or learn a whole new alphabet this book will be paramount in their reading.

A companion book reviewed by Diane last year is Yoon and the Christmas Mitten a book I reviewed and then found it had been done by her.I hope you check it out.

To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays badge in the right sidebar

Do you think you would like this book? Why or why not?

I’m also at http://chergreen.blogspot.com/2012/11/voices-of-fiction-time-to-write-book , where I hope you’ll stop in and see how long it took me to write Annie’s Special Day.

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
This entry was posted in blogging, Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, Course or Book Review, Perfect Picture Book Friday, social networking, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Perfect Book Friday / My Name is Yoon

  1. This looks like an amazing picture book. I will have to check it out. I love books about learning to adapt in a new environment. It is an important concept for children to learn and this one seems to address it with a beautiful story and beautiful illustrations. Thank you for sharing this.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment, The Picture Book Review.

      It’s true that children will develop a better sense of what it takes to adapt to a new country after reading this. 🙂

      Like

  2. Clara, years ago I helped two young female vietnamese immigrants learn to drive, and the language barrier made for some interesting events. . . car in ditch, car front up on bolder, etc. But the one language they understood was the hugs and wiping their tears. It is a fond memory for me. I’ll look for the book.

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  3. This book sounds really terrific, Clar. I love the whole concept behind it, and loved your personal story of how you connected with it. I bet their are a lot of kids who feel this way. Thanks for adding this one to our list!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, I’m sure I”m not alone which is why this book is so valuable to children. Not only will it mean so much to young immigrants but to the kids who know them. It will develop understanding all around. 🙂

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  4. Catherine Johnson says:

    Love how you learned a language around the dinner table, Clar. It sounds a lovely book.

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  5. This book can appeal to all. At some point in our lives, we’ve all felt alone, especially eccentric wanna be writers. Who hasn’t tried to “fit in” at school? Your book sounds like it would be a great read, Clarike. Thanks for listing it for PPBF.

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  6. What a beautiful choice Clar! I didn’ know you were an immigrant, so it makes the story even more meaningful. With the many foreign adoptions, I hope this book reaches those children as well as the many immigrant children living in our wonderful melting pot. My son is from India and I know the culture shock was huge for him! Great choice!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Patricia
      You can go to my about page for more immigrant stories.

      Yes, Culture shock is huge. I remember the first African-American man I ever saw first night here. I thought it was Swarte Pete! lol.

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  7. I’ve got amn ms with this concept, two actually! My gran-mother-in-law finally gave up with my name and called me Judith (pronounced: yoo-dit)!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Congrats Julie! I can’t wait to read them!

      My MIL on my late husband’s side totally mispronounced my name and consequently most of his sisters and brothers do, too. The frequency of this and other reasons finally made me go to my middle name of Clara or shorten it altogether and go to Clar. 🙂

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  8. Joanna says:

    I love picture books that have immigrant protagonists sharing some of the struggles they face. This sounds like another wonderful one to add to my list. The name thing is HUGE. When teaching foreign students I went to lengths to learn how to pronounce their names as well as I could, even when they would say things like, ‘but it’s OK, you can call me John!”

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, the name thing is Huge. See below for more stories about it. Also my about page. I am proud of you for trying so hard with it. It shapes kid’s self esteem and identity. 🙂

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  9. Margot Finke says:

    This delightful book is a genuine classic. So many children and parents will identify with the theme of trying to fit into a new country and new customs. I sent out a blurb and link to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ . A truly inspiring read,

    Books for Kids – FREE Book Catalog
    http://tinyurl.com/d8ppylg

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  10. This looks like a great one. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Looks like a great book to help children have an understanding (and empathy) for children moving to a new language and culture.
    In the late 80s and early 90s my husband and I were teachers in the Canadian Arctic. Our students’ first language was Inuktitut. Some of the older kids learned a lot of their English from tv talk shows. Arsenio Hall was king of late night then – made for some interesting conversations!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      How very interesting, Sandi! Were you teaching ESL? My husband is writing articles on endangered languages and I’m going to pass on this comment to him.

      Books like this would have been helpful to you, huh? 🙂

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  12. Sherry Ellis says:

    That looks like a fabulous book! I’m impressed with all of the awards it has won!

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  13. This book has such a pretty cover! I want to read it just for that. But the story sounds good too. I also have a name that gives everybody problems. I like my name, but I’ve learned to respond to Ribbon and River and Rebel and Ritter and Rita. We read with a lot of Hispanic kids who don’t know much English and I get to learn a lot of Spanish. It’s kind of fun having so many different kinds of people around.

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  14. Wow, I can see how this book had special meaning for you, Clar. It sounds so wonderful! And…what a list of awards!

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  15. What a great book — and thank you so much for sharing some of your own childhood experience. A person’s name is so important.

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  16. I have often thought of reviewing this one. It is a lovely story and right up my ally! I love the illustrations. Thanks also for the link Clar.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, by mistake I reviewed Yoon’s Christmas Mitten first before noticing that it had been done before. I could have sworn it hadn’t then when I was looking at themes, after everything was done, I saw where you had reviewed it after all. It was a lot of wasted effort.

      Then I started all over with this one, working late into the night to get it publishable. They say no writing is wasted. I hope not. lol. Fortunately I had read this one and was prepared to do it too. 🙂

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