Your Name is A Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow: An Exciting Children’s Book for Kids to Treasure

One of the first gifts we ever received was our name. Birth names can serve as a connection to someone you know, whether it be family, friend, or even a symbolic meaning. Indeed, your name becomes part of who you really are. It is the first thing you tell someone you just met. Your name is more than just a simple word, it is a song.

Many parents prefer to give their children unique names to make them stand out; however, sometimes such names can be difficult to spell or to pronounce. Unfortunately, this can cause frustration for children as they grow up when others can’t spell or pronounce their names and can even cause bullying from peers. The leading character faces in the book with the title of “Your Name is A Song” struggles with this very problem. 

The story begins with a little girl who tells her mother she doesn’t want to go to school anymore. The reason for this is that her teachers and classmates are always mis-pronouncing her beautiful name, which makes her feel frustrated. The girl’s mother tells her in lyrical form about the names from different cultures such as African, Asian, Black-Americans, Latin American, and Middle Eastern. Through this teaching, the young girl is ready to go to school the next day and tell others what she has learned. Through this magnificent plot, many of us can now appreciate our names and others from around the world.

The Reasons Why This Book is a Treasure to Your Children

Books are a great way to teach children and foster their emotional and intellectual growth. With these books, children can learn to be creative and are exposed to new ideas and cultures.Here are some lessons both you and you children can learn from this book:

Discover the meaning of your name

With this book, your children will be curious about the history of their names. It is a wonderful activity to share with your children how you chose their names. Once they have learned the origin of their names, your children are likely to appreciate them even more. 

Celebrate different cultures and history behind names

The author compiled numerous names throughout the world. She also explains in the picture book the meaning of each name, and the impact the culture brings in creating a name.Learn the pronunciations of the names

Not only does this picture book have stunning visuals created by Luisa Uribe, but it also provides the correct pronunciations of the names. This teaches the value of learning to correctly pronounce someone’s name, no matter how difficult it may seem at first. The truth is that our names are great treasures that we receive in life. These treasures are free and we carry them with us always. This picture book reminds us of the beauty of diverse cultures and the fantastic meanings behind names. Check it out with your kids today!

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More About the Author

JAMILAH THOMPKINS-BIGELOW is an educator and writer who centers on Black and Muslim children in her work. She is the author of Mommy’s Khimar, Your Name is a Song, and is a contributor to the Once Upon an Eid anthology. She provides free and fun community writing programs for local youth in Philadelphia, where she lives with her family. 

Luisa Uribe is an illustrator living in Bogotá, Colombia. She holds a graphic design degree from the National University of Colombia and an MA in art and design from Loughborough University. Find out more about her at


“This lovely celebration of African American culture, featuring a Muslim family, offers a fresh way to look at the tradition of creating new names. . . A delightful celebration.”

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Simultaneously imparts a strong spark of sensibility and envelops readers in a warm embrace through an overdue, crucial lesson about the significance of honoring every individual’s cultural identity…”

School Library Journal, starred review

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