#365PictureBooks Day 29 The name jar by Yangsook Choi

“The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she?

Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it—Yoon-Hey.”

Source (including image): Goodreads

This is one of those ‘oldie but goodie’ picture books and a great title to use at the start of the year. It fits with the PYP Learner attitudes tolerance and independence, and is wonderful used with a selection of picture books on friendships, differences and acceptance. It is very useful in a school like ours which has a lot of children new to New Zealand – many children have a Korean or Chinese name and an adopted english name and it is also a good reminder to their peers about the importance of names, cultural differences, kindness and acceptance.

Other resources:

Teaching children philosophy

Corkboard connections 20 reading skills to teach with the name jar

Here’s a book talk on video from reviewer Kelsey Andrewjeski


Bibliographic details:

The name jar / by Yangsook Choi

Published by Random House, 2003.

40 pages

ISBN:9780440417996 (paperback edition)

NZ RRP $35.50

This paperback edition is till in print and available via Library Supppliers or the Book Depository or to borrow from Auckland Libraries.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s