I received a complimentary copy of My Name is Leona by Carol Gahara Harris. All opinions are my own.
All children wonder where their names came from at some point. Whether they love their given name or are planning on changing it the moment they turn 18, it’s a natural question. Jacob recently asked me about his name, and while it was pretty much the only name his father and I could agree on, I secretly chose it because I wanted to call him Jake, after the dog I had growing up. Yes, in a way, my son is named after a dog. He was a great dog!!
For Leona, the star of My Name is Leona by Carol Gahara Harris, her first question isn’t so much where her name came from but what name she should pick when she changes it. See, Leona isn’t exactly thrilled with her name. I think it’s a beautiful name, but Leona prefers something a little more common.
Throughout the story, Leona embarks on a journey to find her perfect name. She thinks about how difficult it was to name her fish and how she finally came up with the perfect name for her cat. Still, she can’t quite decide what her new name should be. Finally, she asks her parents the big question: “why did you name me Leona?” The answer is quite beautiful. I won’t give it away, you’ll have to read the book for yourself! In the end, Leona realizes that she already has the perfect name.
My Name is Leona is quite the gorgeous book to read. Illustrator Kim Fujiwara’s soft yet vivid designs perfectly compliment the text on each page. My pictures don’t do them justice. I find the images so soothing, making this the perfect story for bedtime. The story itself is easy enough for emerging readers to read on their own and endearing enough that even adults will enjoy the story.
My Name is Leona: Beyond the Pages
I love children’s books that go beyond the story on the page and open up new avenues of exploration or encourage dialogue between parents and children. My Name is Leona is one of those books. After you finish reading the story with your child, ask her how she feels about her name. Use it as a launching point to talk about the reasons you chose that particular name.
Take it even further: talk about your own name, your parents’ names, your grandparents’ names. Go back as far as you can. Not only will this help your child remember the names of all those relatives they never see, it can also help them connect to relatives who are no longer with them. If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can even make a family tree together.
My Name is Leona goes beyond the pages in other ways too. Harris is donating a portion of the proceeds from each book sale to the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, Texas. On October 4th, she’ll be participating in a charitable event to support the Nino Salvaggio ‘s Charitable Foundation for Children in Need in Clinton Township, Michigan. At the event, she’ll be signing books and donating a portion of proceeds to the charity. Harris has several other charitable events lined up throughout the year.
Head over to Carol Gahara Harris‘ website to learn more about her upcoming events and appearances as well as about Carol herself. You can also purchase the book directly through Harris’ website for $17.95 or on Amazon for$15.14.