Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Bring on the School Stories (and a giveaway!): My Name is Wakawakaloch!

My Name is Wakawakaloch!, by Chana Stiefel/Illustrated by Mary Sullivan, (Aug 2019, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), $17.99, ISBN: 978-1-328-73209-5

Ages 4-6

Over here in NYC, most kids are going to be starting school next week; many kids across the country are already back in school. It’s the perfect time to introduce some new school stories to the kids!

My Name is Wakawakaloch! takes place in the Stone Age (-ish), and stars a little girl who’s frustrated because her classmates can’t pronounce her name right! She goes home and tells her parents she wants to change her name to a nice, simple name, like Gloop. Her parents send her to the Wise Neanderthal in their village, the Elder Mooch, who tells her that she’s a “forward thinker”, but needs to be a “backwards seer, too”. Wakawakaloch returns home and looks at her home’s cave paintings, and sees that she is named for a line of strong women in her family and is empowered to not only stick with her unique name, but to empower other kids with extraordinary names.

This is an adorable book to start off the school year (or for anytime, really). How many of us have names you don’t see on a mug or a t-shirt? How many of us have growled when our names are mispronounced again and again? (You’d look at my name and think, “That’s so easy, it looks like it sounds!” But no.) In our multicultural society, we – and our kids – meet people with names that will be new to us on a daily basis. Books like My Name is Wakawakaloch! show kids (and adults) that our names are as individual as we are, and that there are positive ways to embrace our names and encourage others to embrace both our names and their names. The cartoony digital artwork has a playful sense of fun, and works with the story to deliver an upbeat story with a positive message.

Display with books like Phoebe Sounds it Out by Julie Zwillich, and Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal.


Want a chance to win your own copy of My Name is Wakawakaloch? Enter this Rafflecopter giveaway! (U.S. addresses only, please!)


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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