MY NAME IS WAKAWAKALOCH!
By: Chana Stiefel
Illustrated by: Mary Sullivan
Published: August 27, 2019
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
A young cavegirl is upset because everyone at school mispronounces her name. Sometimes they do it as a joke and other times they really don’t know how to pronounce it. But, Wakawakaloch has had it. She just wants a simple name that can be found on a t-shirt.
I can relate a little to Wakawakaloch. Even though I had a common first name growing up, the spelling of my name was unique enough that I could never find anything personalized with my name. In the ’80s, personalized items were a big deal and I never had the cool personalized things my friends had. Plus my last name was a bit hard to pronounce and I even married someone with a difficult last name. I know how frustrated Wakawakaloch must feel.
Wakawakaloch is a neanderthal or cavegirl, so the language in the book doesn’t always use correct sentence structure or grammar, but it does leave an opportunity for parents to use fun voices when reading this book aloud. Wakawakaloch is shown at school on the pages learning things cavekids learn. Her frustration is clear in the illustrations and word use. Kids will find the illustrations funny including stone computers and a cat with a sabertooth.
After meeting with Elder Mooch, Wakawakaloch realizes her name connects her to her family and it maybe isn’t such a bad name after all. Then she has an idea that will help everyone appreciate their names.
This book is silly and kids will love trying to say all the strange names in the book including Wakawakaloch. But, for all those kids that have a unique sounding or spelling of their name, they will be able to relate to Wakawakaloch and appreciate their own specially chosen name.
Chana Stiefel is the author of more than 25 books for kids about exploding volcanoes, stinky castles, and other fun stuff. In addition to My Name Is Wakawakaloch! she is the author of Daddy Depot, illustrated by Andy Snair (Feiwel & Friends, 2017). Recent nonfiction titles include Animals Zombies . . . . & Other Real-Life Monsters (National Geographic Kids, 2018), which was selected as a Top Ten YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant YA Readers in 2019. Check out the fun book trailer and more at her website: chanastiefel.com.
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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.