Book Review: My Name is Not Alexander
Author: Jennifer Fosberry
Illustration: Mike Litwin
My Name is not Alexander is a book about a boy named Alexander and his interactions with his father during one whole day. The concept of this book is ‘Just how big can a little kid dream’. Each time Alexander’s father asks him to do a task; Alexander goes back in time into the American history and comes up with a name of a great person who shaped up America.
When he wakes up in the morning, his father greets him by his name only to be told by the little boy, that “My Name Is Not Alexander…I am Theodore, the greatest, grandest President who ever was!” His father responds by saying, “Well, Theodore park yourself here and save your energy for today’s game.”
Next, when his father calls him, “Theodore, finish eating and get ready to go.” The boy says, “My name is not Theodore! I am Thomas the greatest, brightest inventor who ever was!”
“Well, Thomas, let me see that brilliant smile light up the room,” the father tells him.
Thereafter he tells his father, at various points of time in the day, he is Joseph (Chief Joseph), Fred (Fred Astaire), Jackie (Robinson) and at the end of the day when he is about to go to bed, he wants to be called Daddy too.
My review –
The first big thing about this book is the mother figure is missing and the father is taking care of the child for the whole day. This is highly imperative for the boys in the Indian households to learn that looking after the day to day needs of a kid is not the mother’s responsibility alone and there are families in this world where fathers play an equal and important role. No wonder, such books are my favourite.
There are numerous positive adjectives in the book like greatest, grandest, brightest inventor, proudest warrior, smoothest dancer, bravest ball player and coolest daddy. These are helpful in creating a positive self-image in the child and stretching the child’s imagination. I wish to see a book like this replete with Indian historical heroes.
The illustrations are attractive on a fine quality paper and do a fine job of binding the attention of both the kids and the adults
There is a similar book ‘My Name is not Isabella’ where a little girl Isabella imagines herself to be the greatest women from the American history.
My Verdict –
This book is appropriate for the age group 3 – 5. It is perfect for kids who are constantly imagining what they want to become when they grow up.
I strongly recommend ‘My name is not Alexander’ (and also ‘My name is not Isabella’) to be a part of bookshelf of every little boy and girl.
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