Category: name stories
There are countless books for kids with first names in their titles—from Harold and the Purple Crayon to Madeline to Fancy Nancy to Olivia—but there aren’t very many books for children about names, with scenarios revolving around such name issues as how they relate to identity, popularity, etc
I have found a few books aimed at preschoolers that do address some of these questions, most of them almost inevitably ending—no matter what the problem– with the child accepting and loving his or her own name, sometimes by finding the right nickname. And several of the books have the added attraction of containing big bunches of appealing (or silly) names.
So here they are, for your name nerd in the making:
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi (Alfred A. Knopf, 2001)
This is the gentle tale of a little Korean girl newly arrived with her family in America, beginning her first day of school. When her classmates find her Korean name, Unhei, difficult to spell and pronounce, she wonders if she should have her own American name, and so the other kids try to help by putting name suggestions into a jar. Daisy? Miranda? Madison? Avery? In the end, Unhei reconnects with her own culture, loving her name for its meaning and its link to her Korean family and heritage. (I happen to know a five-year-old girl with Chinese roots and a Chinese name, whose favorite book this is.)