Friday, September 6, 2019
My Name is Wakawakaloch!
by Chana Stiefel; illus. by Mary Sullivan
32 pages; ages 4 - 7
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2019
theme: names, friends, problem-solving
Wakawakaloch was in a volcanic mood. Everyone was bungling her name.
Schools in our neck of the woods are just getting started this week, and teachers are faced with learning new names. So I thought this might be a fun book for the new year!
In this book, the kids at school mangle Wakawakaloch's name. They call her Walawala or Wammabammaslamma. But those aren’t her names, and Wakawakaloch gets so mad that she wants to change her name to something easy to pronounce. Besides, she can’t ever find a T-shirt with her name printed on it. Gloop would be a good name, right?
What I like about this book: I love the language: the image of Wakawakaloch being volcanic. I like the mis-names that kids give her. And I like when Wakawakaloch sees images of her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother’s acts of bravery, and understands how powerful her family's name is. Not only that - she comes up with a way she can help other kids with unusual names. It involves T-shirts.
I also like the end papers with illustrations of children and how to pronounce their names. No Wakawakaloch, but there is a Chana (like the author) and, according to the handy-dandy guide, the way to pronounce her name is Kh-ah-nah. Make sure you begin with a throat-clearing “ch” ant the beginning!
Beyond the Books:
Check out this brief interview with Chana, and watch the book trailer.
Names are important. Where does your name come from? You might discover an exciting family tale when you ask about your name.
Write down the way you say your name. And when you meet new friends, ask how to say their names. You don’t want to bungle it up!
Today (or as soon as it starts up again) we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website . Review copy provided by my friends at Blue Slip Media.