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'Say My Name' picture book explores the importance of saying names correctly

Joanna Ho is the author of "Say My Name." (Katie Heiner)
Joanna Ho is the author of "Say My Name." (Katie Heiner)

Names reveal so much of ourselves: cultural and generational ties, tradition and power. Here & Now host Deepa Fernandes speaks with New York Times-bestselling author Joanna Ho about her latest picture book, “Say My Name,” and the importance of celebrating names and pronouncing them correctly in order to form meaningful connections with people.

The cover of “Say My Name” by Joanna Ho. (Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers)

Book excerpt: ‘Say My Name’

By Joanna Ho

My name is full of

tones and rhythms,

melodies and harmonies,

chords and cadences.

Each syllable,

each sound,

is a building block

in an architecture

constructed over oceans

and across generations.

Say my name.


Wrap your tongue around its sounds

and memorize its shapes.

Say it over

and over

and over

again

until its tones and rhythms,

its melodies and harmonies,

its chords and cadences

carve home in your mouth

and settle in your spirit.

Excerpted from “Say My Name” by Joanna Ho. Copyright © 2023 by Joanna Ho. Used with permission of the publisher, HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.