Review: New Picture Book Proves All Names Are Beautiful

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My name is Elena and it is pronounced EE-LAY-NA. But sometimes in school during the first few weeks, or when there was a sub, people mispronounced my name. They called me UH-LAH-NA or UH-LEE-NA or EL-EN-NAH.

When I was younger, I would get upset and complain to my parents. But after my parents told me that my name means “shining light” or “bright one” (Spanish, Greek and Italian origins), I really started to appreciate my name more.

In Your Name Is A Song, by Jamilah Thompkins Bigelow, the main character and readers of the book will learn that their name is awesome, even if it different and people have trouble pronouncing it.

In the book, a young girl stomped out of her school, upset that no one could say her name correctly. Some people even made fun of it! Then, the girl’s mother told her that her name is a song, giving her examples of songs that can make wonderful melodies, like the names Mamadou and Ahlam. And as they walked home from school, the girl learns to love her name, because it, too, is a song.

I really enjoyed this book – first because of the beautiful illustrations! Luisa Uribe does an amazing job with the bright colors and colorful scenery. And, I thought it was cool how the author put pronunciations of all names that are mentioned in the book, even ones that may be a bit “easier” for some people to pronounce, like Ms. Anderson or Bob. I think her point was to not make a big deal about names that are less common! And there is even a glossary at the back of the book, so you know what every name means, too.

One interesting thing about the book is that you never learn what the main character’s name is until the end of the book! It built-up suspense, and when you learn her name, it really is a beautiful song.

This book is for anyone ages 4 or older. It is a great bedtime story, especially when kids need to know that their name is a song. And, this book is a good addition to your diverse bookshelf, because it talks about how people of different backgrounds or ethnicities than yours may have different names you might not know how to pronounce. But, you should still be polite.

I’m excited that I got to read the book before it is released July 7! Another author, Asia Citro, sent a digital link to fellow blogger Bridget And The Books and me. Check out Bridget’s review it, too.

I really loved this book! I rate it four out of four roses!

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