Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Name is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream?


There's a little girl who attends both my school and my church.  She has a tremendous imagination and will often refuse to answer to her own name because she is being someone else for the moment.  I'm sure it wears on her family, but it's really pretty creative.  She is the real-life incarnation of Isabella.

Isabella's mother gently guides her through the day from getting out of bed in the morning to doing her homework to getting back in bed that night, by acknowledging the new persona each time she is told, "I'm not ____, I'm  ____."

Isabella starts the day as Sally Ride, morphs into Annie Oakley, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Elizabeth Blackwell, and finally into Mommy.

I love how Mom just goes with the flow and lets her daughter live in her imagination as she eats her meals, completes her chores and accomplishes everything a young girl must do in a busy day.  As Isabella updates Mom on her latest identity, the reader gets a clue as to that woman's contribution to society.  The final pages of the book gives a brief biography and photo of each of these amazing women who changed the world, or at least their corner of it.

Though I haven't read them yet, there are two sequels:  Isabella: Girl on the Go and Isabella: Star of the Story.  There is also a boy's version: My Name is Not Alexander: Just How Big Can a Little Kid Dream?  I'm looking forward to reading all three, which are all written by Jennifer Fosberry and illustrated by Mike Litwin.

My Name is Not Isabella would be a great addition to any girl's library.

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