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My Name Is Yoon Hardcover – Apr 7 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: FSG Kids (April 7 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374351147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374351144
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 25.6 x 1.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Roman on April 12 2004
Format: Hardcover
Mischievous, Korean-born Yoon deals with starting school and learning English. She likes her name in Korean. It means shining wisdom. She is not so sure she likes YOON, her name written in English. The illustrations are stark, rich, and playful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scofield on Feb. 22 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful story that can be shared with any age group. It's about a young Asian girl who comes to America and refuses to write her English name. Beautiful story that teaches a lesson at the end. The pictures are spectacular and very intricate. I love this book!
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By K on April 19 2009
Format: Hardcover
Fantastic story to share with my class, many of the children could relate to Yoon's situation. Illustrations are beautiful.
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Amazon.com: 15 reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
What's in a name? Letters, I s'pose. Aug. 1 2005
By E. R. Bird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In 2001 a book came out entitled, "The Name Jar" about a girl from Korea who had moved to America and wanted an Americanized name. Then, in 2003, "My Name Is Yoon" came out with practically the same plot. Normally, I have little sympathy for children's books that mimic their predecessors. In this case, however, there can be little doubt as to which book is the better of the two. "My Name Is Yoon", is a complex tale of imagination, flights of fancy, and gradual acceptance. By contrast, "The Name Jar" was simply okay. You can find ho-hum picture books lining the shelves of most libraries and bookstores around the globe. It is far rarer to find books quite as remarkable as the stunning, "Yoon".

Yoon isn't exactly thrilled to be in America. Wherever she looks, she sees that life is different in this strange new land. In Korea, where Yoon was born, her name meant Shining Wisdom. Despite her father's assurances that it means the same thing here, Yoon isn't so sure. And then there's the fact that when she writes her name using English characters, it's just a series of sticks and circles, whereas in Korean, "The symbols dance together". She's right. They do. Yoon carries her unhappiness to school where each day she learns a new word and makes that her name. One day it's cat. Another it's bird. Still another (and most amusingly) it's cupcake. In the end, Yoon learns to like her new country, supposing perhaps that maybe that being different can be good too. And in the end, she embraces her real name. "It still means Shining Wisdom".

I hate summarizing picture books where the plot, when written down, sounds so much hokier than it feels on the page. What I've just written sounds nice but bland. The book is anything but bland. Yoon's a distinct and remarkable character. With each new name she adopts, she becomes that object in her dreams. For example, when she becomes BIRD she wishes she could fly back to Korea once again. The book also skips what I've come to feel is the obligatory foreign-child-gets-teased sequence. The kind of thing you tend to find in books like, "Molly's Pilgrim". I was grateful for the oversight. "My Name Is Yoon" is tackling more important problems here. The acceptance of one's own self in a foreign environment, for example. Becoming your own name. Becoming your own self. What could be greater than this?

The pictures, for their part, don't hurt. Artist Gabi Swiatkowska is perhaps best known for this book and the title, "Silk Umbrellas" by Carolyn Marsden. "My Name Is Yoon" is good as a story, yes. But the Yoon we see here is a complex original human being. A one-of-a-kind gal. When her imagination soars it takes off like nothing else, aided by Swiatkowska's realistic images. I especially liked looking at the pictures of her in her home. Here, the black and white tiles of the floor bend and twist in strangely surreal patterns. I'll be honest with you, though. The book could've been awful and I still would have loved it just so long as it continued to contain the picture of Yoon floating through her classroom window as a delicious fluffy cupcake.

Realism is what grounds "My Name Is Yoon". Surrealism sets it apart from the rabble. If you're stocking your personal library with only the most essential picture books out there, you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to include this truly delightful title.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Young Immigrants Featured Review Dec 5 2004
By Mitali Perkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Immigrant kids recognize that hesitation during roll call when a new teacher gets to their name. I used to dread it, but the experience depended on how a grownup handled these encounters with the unfamiliar. If only all teachers (and immigrant parents) were as wise as the ones in this book! Recorvits' poetic, spare text and Swiatkowska's imaginative paintings explore one aspect of feeling "foreign" -- an immigrant child's name. In a new language and a new alphabet, Yoon's beautiful Korean name seems foreign even to herself. Are you still "Yoon" when people outside the family pronounce your name differently? When they don't know that it means "shining wisdom?" For a child to feel at home in a new country, she needs a loving circle of teachers, parents, and classmates, as well as a good measure of her own courage. Reading My Name is Yoon might compensate somewhat if any of those crucial ingredients are missing.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great illiustrations, great message April 30 2005
By Melissa J - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful story about a young Korean girl who has moved to America with her family. At school when she write her name Yoon in English for the first time, she decides that she likes her Korean characters more than the English version because, "My name looks happy in Korean. The symbols dance together."

She decides that she would like to go back to Korea because everything is different in America. Every day at school, her nice teacher asks her to write her name on a paper, and Yoon instead writes a different word that she has recently learned. The beautiful illustrations go along with these words, showing Yoon as a bird, cat, and cupcake. In the end Yoon realizes that perhaps America will be a good home, and that, "maybe different is good."

A great story for children to read, to aid in understanding and acceptance.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Mischievous and fun April 12 2004
By K. Roman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mischievous, Korean-born Yoon deals with starting school and learning English. She likes her name in Korean. It means shining wisdom. She is not so sure she likes YOON, her name written in English. The illustrations are stark, rich, and playful. Karen Woodworth Roman, East Asian Children's Books
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful book to share with children of all ages. Feb. 22 2004
By Scofield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful story that can be shared with any age group. It's about a young Asian girl who comes to America and refuses to write her English name. Beautiful story that teaches a lesson at the end. The pictures are spectacular and very intricate. I love this book!

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