Reviews /

Namaste is a Greeting

Authored by Suma Subramaniam
Illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat
Published by Walker Books

Namaste is a Greeting is a beautiful journey into the world of a word. The reader explores the meaning of ‘namaste’ through the world of a young girl. Every page illustrates a different element of her day-to-day life with her mother and how the sentiment fits into her life. Namaste is ‘a smile’, ‘ a celebration’, ‘I bow to you’.

As the book unfolds, so too does the meaning and place of ‘namaste’ in the girl’s world. Namaste is ‘loving the world’, ‘namaste clams your heart when things aren’t going right’.

Each page is shrouded in Namaste’s Hindu identity and through the vibrant illustrations and explanations, namaste’s recognition explodes multiculturally and across generations. This theme of identity is explored beautifully in the text by explaining the identity of the word itself and the identity the concept affords to the young girl. ‘It’s a light, a path when the road is unclear’, ‘Namaste is the divine in me honouring the divine in you’.

There is a moving sense of the cyclical nature of life in the book with both young and old living alongside each other and plants and animals having a place in many of the illustrations. The illustrations are magnificent. The palette is rich and vibrant. Children from a wide range of backgrounds can relate to the content in the images and can explore images representing community and co-existence.

This book is peaceful and vibrant, still and energised, busy and slow all at the same time. A bit like life. Such a beautiful resource for any classroom where mindfulness and well-being are a fundamental part of the culture of the classroom. This book is Namaste!