Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Illustrated by Luisa Uribe [CeCe’s Book Review]

Your Name Is a SongYour Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Published: July 2020
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please Note: Review of Advance Reader Copy – Book releases 7/7/2020

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 other names too. Names that have fire and twinkle like stars. Names imagined by dreamers that were made with love and purpose.

The book ends with the reader learning how to say her name. In fact, each name that is mentioned throughout includes the phonetic spelling in parentheses. And even though I am not revealing her name, I will say that I adore her name’s meaning which literally means “harp of a female griot.” A fitting name for this character who teaches others how to say her name and the names of others through song. By the end of this book, you may find yourself singing their names too.

This would be a great book to read at the beginning of the school year with all of kindergarten through 5th grade as we build community and learn more about our classmates and teachers. Learning how to Pronounce names correctly shows that we care and as Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow shares in her author’s note, “Ask people how to pronounce their names and let them know that getting it right is important to you.”

This book releases on July 7th, 2020. Thank you to Asia Citro for providing our Book Excursion team with an advance copy to read, enjoy, and review.

View all my reviews

Visit the website of The Innovation Press to view a video of author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigleow as she pronounces the names in Your Name is a Song.


Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow |

Luisa Uribe |

The Innovation Press |

Book Excursion | PLN Group of Rockstar Reading Educators| #BookExcursion

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Mommy's KhimarAlso by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow,
Illustrated by Ebony Glenn
Mommy’s Khimar

Mommy’s Khimar is a radiant expression of beauty as seen through the eyes of a little girl who explores her mother’s closet that is filled with colorful Khimars. She tries them on and becomes a queen with a golden train, a shooting star that shines ever bright, and a superhero with incredible speed. Her imagination knows no bounds. Read more.

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Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy, Illustrated by Ekua Holmes

I am grateful for this book because “Black is history. Black is family. Black is memory. Black is community. Black is the love that lives inside of me.” Angela declares this and much more with text that speaks joy, determination, and pride, making references throughout to artists, activists, and change-makers in history as brought to life through Ekua Holmes’s illustrations. At the book’s end, readers will find an Author’s Note explaining Angela’s inspiration, a Black is a Rainbow Color Playlist, details about some of the people and events that were mentioned, sample work, and a timeline. I look forward to sharing this book with my students. Read more.

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