My Name Is Elizabeth!

PreS-Gr 1—Confident, precocious Elizabeth is very proud of her nine-letter name that she shares with a queen, but she is fed up with family, friends, and neighbors using nicknames like Lizzy, Liz, Beth, and Betsy. Finally at her breaking point, she stands in the middle of town and shouts: "My NAME is ELIZABETH Alfreda Roxanne Carmelita Bluebell Jones!!" then adding more calmly, "But you may call me Elizabeth." Everyone respects her wishes except for her baby brother. His attempt comes out as "Wizabef," which she acknowledges is close enough. The digitally rendered pen-and-ink illustrations in pale blue, bright orange, and black give the book a classic, vintage feel and perfectly complement and expand on the spare text, all contained in speech bubbles. Children who have had similar experiences will certainly relate to Elizabeth and may be inspired by her directness; others might think twice before assigning nicknames to youngsters without asking their preference first. This book will pair nicely with Kevin Henkes's Chrysanthemum (HarperCollins, 1991).—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
Elizabeth, who could be a poster child for self-esteem, vents about her irritation at friends, family members, and neighbors for shortening her name ("Yo, Liz, what's up?!"; "Hi, Beth!"). This artless slip of a book is note-perfect to the end. Forsythe's pictures--black and white with some orange-y red and powder blue--are retro-style but nevertheless his own.

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