By Annika Dunklee
Kids Can Press, $14.95, 32 pages
Elizabeth likes her name. She loves that it is nine letters long. She likes the shapes her mouth makes when she forms the syllables. And it is pretty cool that a queen was named after her! The one thing she can’t stand is nicknames. In Annika Dunklee’s debut children’s book My Name is Elizabeth, when Elizabeth hears a nickname, she gulps, sighs, ignores, and walks away. She even yells. Granddad can’t call her Lizzy. Her friend Billy can’t call her Liz. The grocer can’t call her Beth. And the crossing guard can’t call her Betsy. As a fellow Elizabeth, I can relate to these frustrations. I prefer to be called by my full name. Only my grandfather and twin sister have called me Liz. Will Dunklee’s Elizabeth make an exception? You’ll be surprised to find out who can get away with changing her name. Matthew Forsythe’s illustrations are very charming. After reading the book, parents should encourage kids to sound out their own names and count the letters. Most importantly, does your child like nicknames? It is a good thing for family, friends, and teachers to know.