Picking a name for our boys required lots and lots of time and effort. It even included a massive color-coded spreadsheet prepared by my husband! We looked at countless baby name books and websites. Finally, the perfect names magically appeared! Recognizing the letters in your name and then recognizing your name in print will be one of the first words a child reads. Books about names are a fun way to explore an investigation into children’s names.
Books About Names
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Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins Bigelow the story of a young girl who is frustrated that her teachers and classmates have mispronounced her name all day. The girl’s mom teaches her about the musicality of names using the cities sights and sounds as inspiration. Empowered, the girl is ready to return to school and share her learning with her school.
I think every single back to school in-service should read this book aloud to teachers. And, every teacher should pledge to figure out how to pronounce each student’s name before the children even steps foot inside the classroom. Then, read the beautiful picture book aloud to every classroom of students too.
It seems like just about every name can have a nickname. In My Name is Elizabeth! by Annika Dunklee is the story of a little girl who loves her name. However, everyone insists on calling her different variations of her name. In the end, she stands up and makes her full name known and people take notice. Well, almost everyone calls her Elizabeth!
Imagine a store where you can try on different names. That is just what Wilma does in The Change Your Name Store by Leanne Shirtliffe.
It is tough enough being the new kid in school. Add the fact that you have a name no one can pronounce which can be a double whammy. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi shares the story Unehei who decides that she will pick a new name and starts a name jar to collect ideas. A classmate discovers her real name in the process, arranges for the name jar to disappear on the last day and for Unehei to embrace her Korean name. My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits is another good complimentary text.
A, My Name is Alice by Jane Bayer is a silly ABC book that parades through a whole slew of names. Try having the kids think of words that start with the same letter of their name to make a silly rhyme too.
Chrysanthemum loves her name until the first day of school when the other kids tease her about the flowery name. Kevin Henkes brings another charming story full of characters that kids will love.
Andy, That’s My Name by Tomie DePaola is the story of a little boy who carries the letters of his name around in a wagon. Other kids what to play with the letters but Andy is feeling left out. A fun follow-up activity would be to see how many words your child can make with the letters in his/her name.
My Name is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry is about a little girl who dreams of being named different famous women. It’s a fun introduction to learning about great females in history. There is also a complimentary book called My Name is Not Alexander.
Sometimes a name just doesn’t seem to fit and that is the case in a Porcupine Named Fluffy by Helen Lester. My kids requested this book over and over.
My Name is Wakawakaloch! by Chana Stiefel is the story of a little cave girl who is frustrated that nobody can pronounce her name. She just wants a name that you can find on a t-shirt. And then she has a brilliant forward-thinking idea. She’ll make personalized name shirts.
Thao by Thao Lam doesn’t grab you by the cover but maybe that is on purpose. Perhaps we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. It’s not easy having a name that might be challenging to pronounce or spell. A wonderful reminder to get names right. It matters!
What’s Your Name? by Bethanie Deeney Murguia explores the power in a name. We use them to greet, comfort, honor, and even warn. Reflect on your own name in this book.
Printable Book List of Names
Grab a printable book list!
After you enjoy reading about names, you will want to try out these learning your name activities.