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Your Name Is a Song
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Your Name Is a Song

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4.62  ·  Rating details ·  950 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl's mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. Empowered by this newfound understanding ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by Innovation Press (first published 2020)
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Average rating 4.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  950 ratings  ·  224 reviews


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Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I may or may not be biased but I give it 5 stars!
Nafiza
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
On my first day in school in Canada, the teacher told the kids in class that my name was "Napija" despite me telling him my name very carefully before class started. I was in grade twelve, completely out of my depth in a new country among strange people, thousands of kilometres away from everyone and everything familiar to me.

Unsurprisingly, everyone in the class laughed at my name. So did the teacher. He grinned as if he had told a marvellously funny joke and looked at me as if expecting me to
...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
This is honestly such a beautiful book and I want to give this book to every child, teen, and adult who have names that people trip over.

I mean, I have a name that a lot of people trip over. (And that's why y'all call me CW and not by my full first name.) My name is beautiful, a gift from my parents, but like the adorable main character in Your Name is a Song, my name often gets stuck in people's mouths. For a long time, I really didn't like my name - but I didn't want an 'English' name either,
...more
Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
Thank you Innovation Press for the gifted review copy!

I can't explain to you how important this book is! This picture book shows how important and beautiful names from all cultures are. The meaning behind each name and the beauty that others might miss. The importance of learning how to pronounce people's names, and to teach others the beauty behind them and the importance to put in the effort to pronounce them correctly. I loved the art. I loved the idea behind this book. I loved that it also t
...more
Intisar Khanani
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely gorgeous. I wish, as a child whose name hardly anyone could pronounce, I had had this. For now, I'm grateful to have been able to share it with my children--and will certainly be recommending it to everyone I can, most especially educators and librarians working with young children. Full of heart and beauty. ...more
Reem Faruqi
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This important book is a love letter to all those children whose names get stuck in their teachers' mouths and for all of us who have ever had trouble pronouncing the names of others.  The character's first words to her mother are how she never wants to go back to school again because when her teacher tried to say her name, "it got stuck in her mouth." Her wise mother reassures her with a beautiful saying, the title of the book, "Your Name is a Song."

The author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow touches
...more
Kathryn
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Yes!this is such an important book. I think it's beautifully done. Please see the reviews by people who can relate more to the story than I* can, but even though I don't have the first-hand experience, I was moved. I love the mother's creative and touching approach to helping her daughter see that her name is a song... that all names are a song. I thought the ending was perfect. All along, we have the pronunciation guide for names like Ummi and Olumide included in the text... then at the end we ...more
Abby Johnson
As a girl and her mother walk home from the first day of school, the girl relates how frustrated she was when her teacher couldn't pronounce her name and the other kids at school made fun of it. Her mother explains that her name is a song and that lots of names need to be said from the heart instead of the tongue or are made up after other names have been stolen from them. This is a wonderful book for kids and teachers to read about the importance of names. Young readers with names that often ge ...more
Farah Rishi
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh, my heart. This beautiful book made my heart sing. I wish I’d had it as a child! It’s the perfect book to be read aloud. The illustrations are vivid and charming, and the story is one that will resonate with all readers—but especially for those with a little more fire in their names.
Christina Carter
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-excursion
The first day of school is butterfly tummies, new friends, and new experiences. It's something to be excited about but when one little girl has gone all day with everyone mispronouncing her name, she's not so sure she wants to go back. On their walk home, her mom says to "Tell your teacher that your name is a song." A beautiful song. A name that can be said correctly when folks give it a try...but you'll have to read the book to find out her name for yourself. When you read it, you'll learn othe ...more
Rabiah Lumbard
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Precious, precious book. I loved every detail, emotion and moment in this precious story--both the lyrical, warm narrative and the delicious illustrations. As parents we put so much thought into our children's names. It is one of the most joyful moments to hold our babies and name them with all our hopes and dreams and love. I hope and pray that others embrace all the beautiful names and languages and cultures celebrated in this story for to do that is to uplift humanity and our children. My own ...more
Jessica Petersen
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the most beautiful picture books -- in every sense of the word -- that I've ever read. With exuberance and grace, it shows children the musicality, strength, and meaning of names from all cultures, and teaches them the importance of making the respectful effort to learn to say another person's name -- but also how to take pride in your own name, even when others aren't being respectful about learning it, and to stand up for yourself in a powerful way that brings a community closer. Every ...more
Saadia Faruqi
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic! I loved the idea of people's names as precious and important, and that we should all appreciate names that don't sound like ours. As a mom who's son has a difficult-to-pronounce name, I know how challenging the school environment can be for little kids. This book is a perfect way to remind us - both kids and adults - that we need to make an effort to learn things that we may not be comfortable with us. Perfect read for the home, as well as the school, with lovely art and ...more
Sana
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an apt book in today's world where accepting each other is more important than ever. The book not only dives into what it feels like when someone can't pronounce your name (I've been there so many times!) but also captivates the feeling of celebration of different names. The writing is exquisite and the characters, especially the mom and the daughter, are both strong and eloquent. Such a pleasure to read! ...more
Syed Masood
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who has been in school with a name that was foreign or difficult to pronounce will relate to this book. Anyone who has struggled to give names that sound different respect will learn from it. Names are uniquely bound to identity and the message of this book--to reclaim your name, to stand up for it--is powerful, moving and important.
Jillian Heise
An incredibly beautiful picture book! A definite for back-to-school #classroombookaday. Names have power. We should respect kids & their identity/humanity enough to get them right. 🎶
Stefani Putria
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gosh, It's really cute ( the illustration ) and the story gives me a warm feeling. ...more
Laura
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book that everyone should read! Will read it to my 8th graders and my own kids.
Nadine Courtney
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this sweet book! Not only are the illustrations in YOUR NAME IS A SONG exquisite, but the message is so beautiful and empowering, and my 5-year-old daughter really enjoyed how lyrical it is. I grew up with a "weird" and difficult to pronounce last name that constantly made me the butt of jokes and confusion. As a result, I always had an inferiority complex about being different and wishing I had a "normal" American last name. I wish this book had existed when I was a kid — it w ...more
Kathie
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book.

What a beautiful story, with such a timely message. Names are so important, and learning to say each other's names is a sign of respect. A person should never be made to feel that their name is not important, too difficult to be used, is worth being made fun of, or doesn't matter. I love that the poetry of language and rhythm is emphasized as the girl's mother teaches her to think of her name as a song, and to be proud to share i
...more
Beth Honeycutt
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First week of school read - yep!
Jennifer
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Following her first day of school, a little girl tells her mother she is never going back. On the walk home, after discovering that the young girl’s name was mispronounced and made fun of, the mother teaches the girl about names being songs, with meaning, feeling, lyrics, and history.

First day of school teasing. *Sigh* How many of us experienced it? Probably for a variety of reasons. With how diverse and culturally-rich our communities are, special attention should be made to learning names and
...more
Gabrielle Stoller
I want this book to win the CLEL award for Sing. WHY? Because I love that embodies what we try to teach in early literacy. Song helps breaks down the syllables of words....and yes even names. Songs help people remember (trust me, it's still how I remember Jesus's disciples). For our young heroine, and her struggles with her teacher saying her name properly....when she learns to break it down and encourage others to do the same....beauty is seen.

What I appreciated was the pronunciation key that
...more
Shaye Miller
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diversity, youtube
Fantastic read-aloud by Lesley Niemi! Will review at a later date.


For more children's literature, middle grade literature, and YA literature reviews, feel free to visit my personal blog at The Miller Memo!
...more
Hanna Greene
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful way to ask children for clarity about their name, to sing it! Everyone will come across an unfamiliar name and this book teaches great ways on how we can learn. It's also incredible to give to said child with an unfamiliar name as they will be able to relate! ...more
Mary Lee
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I will practice and practice (the way I do my students' names) until I can get it right before I read it aloud on the first day of school. I will practice until no name makes me pause or gets stuck in my mouth.

A name is the first thing our new students offer to us. How we receive these gifts says so much in our first hours and days together.

Here is a poem for adults that addresses the same themes: https://poets.org/poem/give-your-daug...
...more
Samira
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a treasure that wants to be read out loud. The union of Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow's tale and Luisa Uribe's gorgeous art is honestly magic. I can picture children, families, classrooms poring over these pages again and again, and I'm frankly envious of all the little ears who will get to hear voices like this protagonist's Momma bring the songs of these names to life! And speaking of Momma, a moment of appreciation for this powerful character who breathes poetry into her daughter's w ...more
Shirin
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read a review ARC-copy of this wonderful book.
With beautiful illustrations, this book evokes a whirlwind of emotions. With its heartwarming treasure of a story that will move you to tears; happy tears at the beautiful mother/ daughter relationship and how loving and creative words have the power to change how we feel and think. This book is so timely in that it also honors the names of Trayvon and Laquan. I was touched and deeply moved that a picture book for children can be so powerful. This
...more
Amber Webb
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow is a incredible tribute to the power, strength and beauty in a name. The book includes names of all types and you can feel the sway of the song as the little girl sings the names. The connection of names to nature throughout the book is another stunning element.
This will be a book that is shared during the first week of school to remind children that they are all important and have value. It would even be a nice book to share with parents and fam
...more
Rebecca
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’d like this new PB to be in every single classroom!! Pronunciation matters! I say it every year to my colleagues about the importance of saying your students names correctly! This book shows the power of a name, the importance of it and a thoughtful way to help others learn how to say ones name. Thanks to Edelweiss for allowing me to read and review this new picture book!
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