Namaste is a Greeting

Namaste is a Greeting
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
4+
Release Date
October 11, 2022
ISBN
978-1536217834
Buy This Book
      
Discover namaste’s many meanings in a simple, lyrical text, paired with a charmingly detailed visual narrative about a little girl’s kindness.

Namaste calms your heart when things aren’t going right.
Namaste is saying “You matter.”

What is namaste? It’s found in a smile, a friendship, a celebration. It exists in silence; it can be said when you’re happy or when you’re feeling low. For one small girl in a bustling city, namaste (“I bow to you”) is all around her as she and her mother navigate a busy marketplace—and when she returns with a little plant and chooses to give it to an elderly neighbor, it can be seen in the caring bond between them. In a sweet, universal text, debut author Suma Subramaniam shines a light on a word with significance far beyond yoga class, while artist Sandhya Prabhat makes the concept of mindfulness come alive in delightful illustrations likely to draw children in again and again.

Editor review

1 review
A Celebration of Thoughtfulness and Kindess
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
A little girl lives in a bustling city, in an apartment from which she can see an older neighbor from her balcony. They often greet each other across the space, and the girl starts to think about what the word "namaste" means to her. When she goes to the market with her mother, she sees it used a lot, and notices that it can be a greeting, but also a way to reflect, show gratitude, or extend kindness to others. She buys a plant to take home, and is sad when the pot it is in breaks. Her mother helps her repot it, and she delivers it to her neighbor so the two can share a connection. All the while, the girl reflects on the different times that "namaste" is used, and the variety of meanings it exhibits in her life.
Good Points
The artwork is vividly colored and shows lots of details. The expressions on the girl's face are great. While there are some pages where there are backgrounds full of many people and objects, sometimes we see a lot of white space showcasing the girl dancing or taking care of her plant. The text is nice and big, and since there isn't a lot of it, this would be a great read aloud.

This is a great look at a pivotal cultural word, and while there are plenty of examples of how it functions, I would have liked to see a very short forward on what cultures use the word, and in what way. For young readers who already have "namaste" as part of their vocabular, this won't be necessary, but readers who don't know this might learn even more from the book!

It's good to see a growing number of picture books extolling kindness and making cultural connections. Zhang's Amy Wu and the Warm Welcome shows a girl befriending a classmate that doesn't speak English well, and Michael's Snoopy's Book of Joy offers the same sort of exploration of gratitude, albeit from a slightly sillier perspective.
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