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Today while I was in the ESL classroom the teacher I volunteer with and I began talking about my application for teaching in Korea and such. She then begins to search around in the draws for a book she said I should take a look at. It was The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi.
I remember seeing something about this book floating around Tumblr, so I had heard of it before, but I really enjoyed being able to read it. It gives a little bit of insight into how hard it might be for someone with a Korean, or other foreign name to feel comfortable in America (or other English speaking-countries, I assume), surrounded by people who might not be able to pronounce their name. It teaches people to feel comfortable, and appreciate their name and the meaning their name holds, while also showing the importance of being accepting of other people’s names and cultures.
This sweet children’s book serves a really great purpose. I hope that kids are reading this, and that it’s helping with their own transitions into a new culture while still maintaing their identity!
(Plus, I wouldn’t mind owning one of those wooden name-stamps now.)
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
On her way to her first day at her new school, Unhei is teased about her Korean name. By the time she gets to the classroom, she decides she wants to think about getting a new name. Her classmates, trying to be helpful, collect name suggestions in a jar. Eventually Unhei makes a decision on her name. This a story of individuality and its importance.
The pictures in this book are nice. They are painted in a very simple style with bold colors.
4/5. I liked this book. It was a neat way to remind us that a person’s name has importance to them. It would be a good book for a classroom that has students who are sensitive about their names or culture.