Welcome to the
Your Name Is a Song
By Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
& Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
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.
Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, M.S.Ed, is a Philadelphia-based educator and children’s book author. A curriculum writer and former English teacher, she has educated children and teens in traditional and alternative learning settings for 15 years. As an inaugural AMAL fellow with the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative (MuslimARC), she developed foundational curricular frameworks for youth and adult anti-racist programming. Her picture books and short stories, which feature young Black and Muslim protagonists, have been recognized as the best in children’s literature by Time Magazine, Read Across America, and NPR. These works include Mommy’s Khimar, Once Upon an Eid (anthology contributor), and Your Name is a Song, as well as soon-to-be-released books: Abdul’s Story and Hold Them Close.
How is your name a song? This book is full of rhythm and sounds that will inspire young readers to find music in their own names. As you read through the book with young readers, try sounding out all of the names in the book together. Invite them to find the music and the rhythm in their own names. Every page in this book is full of color that bursts off the page. Invite young readers to identify as many colors as they can. Ask them which colors are their favorite. Are there colors on the page that make them think of their own names?
Sing & Dance Your Name
Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, the girl tells her mother she will never go back to school. As they walk home, the girl’s mother teaches her the musicality of African, Asian, Black American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names. What is the music in your name? What is your song? The Alliance Theater leads you in celebrating your name in both music and movement. We cannot wait to learn your name!
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