~I received a copy of My Name is Leona by Carol Gahara Harris for review. Opinions and stories are my own.~
My Name is Leona is about a little girl who doesn’t like her name and doesn’t understand it. It’s different than all her other friends and in fact, she doesn’t know anyone in her world that has the name Leona. Challenged with finding a name for her pets, a goldfish and a cat, Leona realizes how difficult it is choosing a name and comes to the understanding of how names can be special.
The sing-song rhyme of the story written by Carol Gahara Harris is complimented greatly by the illustrations of Kim Fujiwara. The little girl’s eyes in the images are so wide with curiosity and concern, she’s absolutely adorable in poetry and picture. More than that though, she resonates something each of us have gone through in our lives. I remember when I was young and didn’t like my name at all and didn’t understand why my parents decided on a name that sounded so … ordinary.
As for me, I’m still thinking. This is hard to do.
How do you choose a name that suits you?
The author had come up with the story because she had disliked her name as a child. As with most of us, we grew into our names and later she had decided she loved her name Carol. Having two daughters of her own, she understands in both perspectives the difficulties of choosing a name and growing into it. I think that is what is special when sharing it with children. In a way we share with them how the giving of a name is special and sometimes it takes a little while to stretch yourself into it.
As my Mother told me when I would name my pets, “Be careful what you name them, the meaning is important.” I learned the hard way (of course) by naming my ferret Chaos; which turned out to be a very bad idea.
My Name is Leona is the winner of the Bronze Medal for Best First Book by Moonbeam Children’s Awards! I really hope to see many more stories from Carol Gahara Harris. She hasn’t only made a sweet and beautiful story, but is also going to be giving back through it to many organizations in the coming months.
There will be a book reading to hospitalized children at Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, TX; a book signing where portions of the proceeds will go to benefiting Nino Salvaggio’s Charitable Foundation for Children in Need and a fundraiser in the author’s hometown of Clinton Township, MI for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
You can help show your support for a fantastic new children’s author by purchasing My Name is Leona, available to purchase through Paypal or Amazon for $17.95.