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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
My Name isn't "How Are You?" by Maureen Baggett is the illustrated tale of a young girl called Madison who falls very ill and is hospitalized for quite some time. Her friend, Kelsey, visits and asks how she is, before telling her how absolutely terrible and sick she looks. Her Aunt Ginger does the same, followed by a boy from school called Enzo, and one of her teachers. When her parents visit, they ask how she is and what parts of her are hurting. A nurse comes to check on her and asks Madison how she is, before sticking a thermometer into her mouth so she can't answer. With each visitor, Madison is greeted with the question of ‘How are you?’ When the doctor checks on her, he asks the same question and then explains to a group of other doctors about Madison’s diagnosis. Feeling worse each day, Madison is finally greeted by a cheerful and familiar voice. Her Nana addresses Madison by her name before sitting on the bed and pulling her grandchild into a hug, telling Madison that it was more fun to visit than to talk on the phone. Her Nana’s smiles, cheeriness and all of the stories and updates about what is happening on the farm give Madison the lift she needs.
The illustrations and story complement each other perfectly. Madison’s story teaches the reader that when you see somebody in a hospital bed, don’t ask them how they feel and tell them how terrible they look. Treat them as you would want to be treated, with a smile, with love and with laughter ... and call them by their name when you see them! Maureen Baggett’s children’s books carry with them some valuable lessons in life. This book, in particular, should be read to all children so they are aware of the value of good cheer when visiting friends in hospital.