I don't know about you, but I grew up with a strong dislike for my name (my first name to some extent, but ESPECIALLY my last - and those of you know the last name I was born with no doubt can understand why). My first name grew on me (and I got to exchange my surname when I met my wonderful husband), but I think this is something that almost every child goes through. For that reason, and several others, I have chosen this fun, silly, delightful book for my contribution to the lovely Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Book Friday.
Author: Jane Sutton
Illustrator: Renata Gallio
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010, fiction
Age Range: 3-5 years
Theme/Topics: names, humor, rhyme, appreciating what you have
First Page:It all started on Gabie's birthday. Sidney surprised his good friend with a poem:
"Happy birthday to Gabie,
I've known you since you were a baby.
I hope your day's fun
In the shade or the sun.
You're my best friend for sure, not maybe."
"Thank you, Sidney!" said Gabie, pleased that the forgetful Sidney had remember his birthday. "You have such a way with words."
Sidney grinned. He thought he had a way with words too. But he thought it might be showing off to say so.
Synopsis (from inside book jacket):Sidney love to write rhyming poems for his friends' birthdays, until he realizes his own name doesn't rhyme with anything except...well, kidney. What's a pig with a non-rhyming name to do? Aha! Sidney decides to change his name - with unexpectedly hilarious and poignant results. For any kid who's ever wished for a new name, Sidney's story offers plenty of laughs, and a reassuring dose of subtle and sound advice
Resources: Have the kids try to figure out words that rhyme with their own name - you can use Rhymezone, or a rhyming dictionary, to help. Have the kids find out why their parents picked their name and why it is special to them. If they could change their name, would they? What does their name mean? Most baby name websites have this information.
Why I LOVE it: For one, I can totally relate (and I think a lot of other folks can too). I also love the voice/tone, the humor, and the relationships Sidney has with Gabie - and his mother. Some of the jokes are funny even the 10th time around (to me, anyway - disclaimer: my hubby thought this one was kind of stupid). A fun book all around.
Hope you'll give this book a look - and check out the OTHER perfect picture books for today at Susanna's blog - and Susanna's ever-growing list of wonderful picture books.
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1