Monday, September 14, 2020

Your Name is a Song

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Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Luisa Uribe. Ages 6-10. Innovation Press, 2020. Review copy provided by my local library. 

Frustrated when her teacher can't pronounce her name and kids at her new school make fun of her name, our narrator vents to her mom on their walk home from school. And her mother responds to each complaint with positive language to present her unique name in a different light. "Your name is a song" and your name is one that needs to be said from the heart more than the tongue. Or even, your name might be made up because long ago our original names were stolen from us and we looked to the sky for new names. 

This is a wonderful book for kids and teachers to read about the importance of names. Young readers with names that often get mispronounced will find words to speak back (and teach) about it and anyone who meets new kids and learns their names on a regular basis should read this book. The book uses all kinds of names from many different cultures around the world as examples, and I especially appreciate that all the names in the book (even white normative names like "Bob" or "Ms. Anderson") are given pronunciation guides. This is a must for school and public libraries!