cover image My Name

My Name

Supriya Kelkar, illus. by Sandhya Prabhat. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-3743-1463-7

While readying for the first day of school, a child prepares to learn classmates’ names: “Say your new friends’ names out loud/ And the name belonging to you/ Carefully, kindly/ And they will too.” But Kelkar’s fluid lines stagger as the protagonist introduces himself, only to experience “wrinkled foreheads/ And twisted tongues.” After a schoolday of feeling that “I’M DIFFERENT,” parental reassurances remind him that his name means he is cherished and wrapped “together/ With those who came before.” Prabhat’s saturated palette mixes warm and cool tones to portray the boy interacting with others and slowly learning to self-affirm that “My name means I’m me./ Your name means you’re you.” The protagonist and his family read as South Asian; classmates are shown with various skin tones. Creators’ notes conclude. Ages 3–6. (Aug.)