In this charming, sparely worded picture book, Namaste Is a Greeting, a child shares possible definitions--and associated kindnesses--of the word "namaste."
The big-hearted, bindi-wearing narrator informs readers that "namaste is a greeting" as they lift hands to forehead in acknowledgement of their elderly neighbor and the new day. The brown-skinned child, dressed in a sunshine-yellow dress, acts upon other meanings of namaste--"A smile. A friendship. A celebration"--as they leave home and engage with their vibrant neighborhood. Namaste is a bow to a juice vender, an acknowledgment of a yoga practice, enjoyment in a moment of silence, an understanding that "namaste is loving the world." But namaste is more. Namaste also "calms your heart when things aren't going right," serves as "a path when the road is unclear" and can be offered as a way "to heal and comfort." Because, above all, as this loving child explains, "Namaste is the divine in me honoring the divine in you."
Debut author Suma Subramaniam has penned a lyrical narrative that thoughtfully explores the impact of a series of respectful and earnest interpretations of namaste. Sandhya Prabhat (I Am Brown) guides the plot with her brilliantly colorful digital illustrations, which showcase the caring acts the child performs. Namaste Is a Greeting poetically shows how small actions can spread comfort and goodwill throughout a neighborhood--and perhaps even the world. --Lynn Becker, reviewer, blogger, and children's book author