African American Children’s Book Project’s Best Picture Books of 2020
2020 Best of the Best lists for Kirkus Reviews and Chicago Public Library
2020 Time Magazine’s 10 Best Children’s and YA Books of the Year
2020 Best Books – New York Public Library
FirstBook Title Raves of 2020
Little Feminist: The Best New Children’s Books of 2020
Black Caucus of ALA 2020 Best of the Best
The 2020 Nerdies: Picture Books Announced by John Schu
Kidlit Creators’ Faves of the Year 2020
Book Riot 20 Must-Read Picture Books from 2020
NEA December 2021 Read Across America Book
Beautiful Blackbird Children’sBook Festival Book, Summer 2021
Inside the Book
Your Name is a Song
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, the young girl is ready to return the next day to share her knowledge with her class. Your Name is a Song is a celebration to remind all of us about the beauty, history, and magic behind names.
Your Name is a Song includes back matter perfect for parents, educators, caregivers, and young readers who want to learn more about the names featured in the story. The Glossary of Names lists each name’s meaning, origin, and pronunciation. Additionally, readers can use a listed link to access an online video of the author pronouncing all the names in the book.
Educators, click here to find more resources for teaching Your Name is a Song!
A former high school student of mine inspired me to write Your Name is a Song. He had a first name that most students and staff couldn’t pronounce and most people used a nickname for him. However, I could say his name and one day after school we got into a conversation about his full name. He was very proud to share all his exquisitely beautiful Nigerian names. I especially loved his middle name: Olumide. I wrote it down in my notebook later that day because I loved the way it was so musical. I then wrote “your name is a song” and decided I wanted to write a children’s book with that very same title.
“This lovely celebration of African American culture, featuring a Muslim family, offers a fresh way to look at the tradition of creating new names. . . A delightful celebration.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review
“Simultaneously imparts a strong spark of sensibility and envelops readers in a warm embrace through an overdue, crucial lesson about the significance of honoring every individual’s cultural identity…”– School Library Journal, STARRED review
“A resonant tale that honors and celebrates a rich landscape of names.” – Publishers Weekly