My Name is Yoon

What It Is

Helen Recorvits’ first illustrated children’s book about a young girl from Korea adapting to life in the U.S., has deservedly won numerous awards. Yoon, who does not speak English, starts school in the U.S. is understandably very resistant to her new surroundings. At first, she does not like her new school, but each day she gains a bit more confidence and begins to make friends, bond with her teacher and enjoy her new language.

Why It’s Fun

Every child at some point experiences the emotions that Yoon feels. Ms. Recorvitz does an effective job of communicating how a child processes and expresses these feelings. The award-winning illustrations are stunning and the facial expressions are very real and very touching. On the lighter side, it’s fun to talk about a different country and language -- we learn that Yoon means “Shining Wisdom” in Korean.

Who’s Going To Love It

Everyone! As a parent, you feel for both Yoon and her parents. It’s a very heartwarming story of being patient with and believing in yourself, and a great springboard for a discussion with the kids. Kids who tend to be on the shy side will really connect with Yoon. And, the illustrations and hardcover format make it a very special gift. Recommended age is 4 to 8 which is right-on.

Reading Time

About five minutes

Select Awards

See a complete list of awards at

American Library Association Notable Children’s Books
Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year
Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of the Year
School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

Read-It-Again Points

10 out of 10

Book Information

My Name is Yoon
By: Helen Recorvits; Illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska
Published by: Francis Foster Books (2003)
Approximate retail price: $10-16 (hardcover)


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