My Name is Yoon

Written by Helen Recorvits

Illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

Best for ages 4-8

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 the 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’s spare and inspiring story about a little girl finding her place in a new country is given luminous pictures filled with surprising vistas and dreamscapes by Gabi Swiatkowska. (via Amazon)

Small Talk

Here are some conversation starters to get you and your little one talking about the book!

  1. How does Yoon feel about living in America? Why do you think she feels that way? 
  2. What doesn’t Yoon like about her name? 
  3. What does your name mean? 
  4. What’s your favorite thing about your name?

Activities

Here are some fun activity ideas to make with your little one! For even more activities, visit our Summer Reading Club Pinterest Board!

Grownups

You can read about self-identity too!

Check out When My Name is Keoko by Linda Sue Park.

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them—even their names—are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war. (via Amazon)

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