Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Name is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Mike Litwin

My Name is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Mike Litwin

When I saw Terry's summary of this book at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, I knew I had to have it for my daughter, my own Isabella. I immediately pre-ordered a copy and was delighted when it arrived a few weeks ahead of the official publication date.

The story begins when Isabella's mother wakes her:

"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.

"Then who has been sleeping in my daughter's bed?" asked the mother.

The little girl exclaims that she is Sally, and we see a picture of an astronaut in space. As the day goes on, she pretends to be many famous women who've made history including Rosa Parks, Annie Oakley, and Marie Curie. Each time the little girl proclaims her new identity, the reader learns a little about how each woman impacted history.

This is an exceptional book on so many levels. First, the patient and caring mother encourages her child to dream big and use her imagination. Second, as the book progresses, we see how this has instilled confidence in the little girl as she proudly reclaims her real name before she goes to sleep. Next, near the end of the book, the little girl says her name is "mommy," showing how much she adores and admires her own mother as puts her in the ranks of such powerful female figures. Finally, children are introduced to many influential and inspirational women from history. You can't have enough books about admirable female figures, imho.

My Name is Not Isabella is not only a perfect choice for young girls, but it would make an excellent resource in a social studies classroom. As a fan of literature-based instruction, I can see this being used as a supplementary resource in lessons about biographies, famous women from history, the civil rights movement, famous scientists, and more. The back of the book provides short biographical information about each featured woman as well as an extensive list of resources where you can find lots more information. Highly recommended.

More info:
  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Monkey Barrel Press (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980200075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980200072
  • Source of book: Bought it

What other bloggers are saying:

Young Readers:
"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." (read more...)

Laura Williams Musings:
"I can definitely see this book as a launching pad in a homeschool setting. Take off on studying about astronauts, the wild wild west, the Civil Rights Movements, and more. Many possibilities." (read more...)

The Reading Tub: "This picture book is driven by dialogue, which immediately engages kids in the story. It is the perfect format for introducing children to women who changed the world and the biography genre." (read more...)


  1. Thanks Jill! I'm so happy to hear that our promo and review lived up to the billing.

    My daughter LOVES My Name is Not Isabella. We just recently started playing 20 questions, and we had five great "people" to be ... and she could guess who they were.

  2. Terry,
    That's awesome, and I love the idea of 20 questions!

  3. Thanks Jill (and Terry):
    I am so glad you both liked the book and said such wonderful things!

    When I was a kid we used to play 20 questions at the dinner table. I still remember my Dad stumping us with Wyatt Earp. Maybe that is where I got the idea from.

    Thanks again.