Namaste Is a Greeting

Candlewick. Oct. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536217834.
K-Gr 3–A young girl spends the day walking her neighborhood, greeting people with “Namaste” while explaining its various meanings. “Namaste is loving the world,” and “Namaste is saying you matter.” After returning home, she accidentally breaks the pot her new flower is in and uses “Namaste” to express her emotions about it. The story ends with her giving the repotted flower to a neighbor, because “Namaste is the divine in me honoring the divine in you.” The acrylic drawings of her home and neighborhood are rich in detail, from the sidewalk to the textures of the curtains in the windows. The neighborhood is full of people of varied nationalities and abilities. On a few pages the text is the primary focus, with the girl shown as smaller when she feels sad. The journey through her day and to the awareness that her neighbor is lonely, and her subsequent gesture of friendship, show the larger concept behind the titular phrase.
VERDICT A great purchase with a simple path to showing children how a word can be a way of living, a greeting, and a blessing, all at once.

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