Saturday, July 26, 2008
My Name is Not Isabella
Fosberry, Jennifer. 2008. My Name Is Not Isabella. Illustrated by Mike Litwin. Monkey Barrel Press. (Coming in September 2008).
I enjoyed this one. It is a picture book about a little girl who is quite spunky and all original. "Good morning, Isabella," the mother said. "It's time to get up and out of bed." "My name is not Isabella!" said the little girl. And thus the drama begins. The book follows the little girl and her mother throughout the day as the girl adopts different names and different traits to follow in the footsteps of her heroes-of-the-moment: Sally Ride, Annie Oakley, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, and Elizabeth Blackwell. Also included in the list of the girl's heroes is "Mommy" because she is "the greatest, sweetest mother who ever was."
The book is both cute and informative. The mother seems to be quite patient and always encouraging of her daughter's imaginative hopes and dreams. And the relationship between the two is always positive. The women mentioned are real people who were great and unique and inspiring in their own ways. And the concept that girls can grow up to be great--phenomenal even--women who accomplish what they want and live determined and meaningful lives is a good one. This one doesn't even suffer from being didactic. Meaning though the concept is always in the background, it's not hitting you over the head with it either.
For any girl who has imagined herself being many people, having many jobs, doing many different wonderful things, this one will be a satisfying read.
If I'm being honest though, I didn't *love* the illustrations. I know it's probably very superficial of me to pick on the illustrations. But I just had a hard time getting past the purple hair. There were some spreads that worked for me, and others that just didn't.
Here is a page that worked for me:
Here is a page that didn't quite: