Friday, December 9, 2011

My Name is Elizabeth!


Annika Dunklee; Matthew Forsythe

I love how simple this book is. Elizabeth speaks in that straightforward, short sentence way that only children can. She is happy with her life and herself and turns out that she isn't shy about speaking up.

Elizabeth loves her name, all nine letters of it. She wakes in the morning and proudly exclaims "My name is Elizabeth." though her only audience is her pet duck. She likes that a queen has been named after her (and not the other way around).That and some of the illustrations show that Elizabeth seems to be a bit of a character. She plops down in the sink basin to brush her teeth, wears funny hats, and owns a pet duck.

Elizabeth is such a great name, so why do people insist on shortening it up and using those ridiculous nicknames instead? She's not a Beth, Liz, or Lizzy and certainly not a Betsy. Elizabeth gets a bit more irritated with each nickname, until she loses her patience. She announces to the entire town (in really big letters) her FULL name. It turns out that Elizabeth has four middle names, so her full name is quite a mouthful. With a curtsy, she graciously adds "But you may call me Elizabeth." And everyone does.    

I have no idea why Elizabeth has a pet duck, and the storyline does not address it. When Elizabeth dons her winter hat, she places a crown on the duck's head and he seems to wear it quite willingly. Even after his leash and collar fly off, he sticks close to Elizabeth's side. This is one well trained duck! He's got his own funny facial expressions and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he wasn't equally offended by the nicknames. I wish his name had been provided, because I am sure it would have been funny.   

I love that the entire book is done in just four colors: black, white, soft blue and a solid orange. A unique choice, the effect is both bold beautiful. The orange really stands out against that baby blue. Probably as much as Elizabeth and her duck stand out in that town.

Review copy provided by Kids Can Press.

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