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Text and Tunes: Hannah Is My Name


Hannah is My Name (Candlewick Press, 2004) is the immigrant story of young Hannah whose parents leave Taiwan and move to America in search of a better life for their daughter. It reads:

"When we are Americans, Baba says we will be free to say what we think. An American girl is free to be anything she chooses, says Mama. We want to become Americans more than anything in the world. We want to be free."

The playful lil girl lives in a building she compares to a lime popsicle and works hard to learn her ABCs and English. Aside from adjusting to a new name and school, Hannah also worries about her parents struggle with employment and dreams of getting a green card. When the day finally arrives, she is surprised that the cards are actually blue, but says, "It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen."

The touching read is also a good educational tool. My daughter loves the story and is always drawn in by the brilliant artwork. The 24-page picture book ($17) was both authored and whimsically illustrated by Belle Yang who wrote it based on her own life experience.

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