PPBF: My Name is Elizabeth

Happy April Fool’s Day! Is it really April already? And hurray for Friday! That means it’s time to review a wonderful picture book. When you finish reading this post, please hop over to Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents, teachers and children.

I think everyone will be able to relate to my Perfect Picture Book Friday selection. We all have a name…and I’m pretty sure all of us have had people call us by a nickname. Or two. Or three. Poor Elizabeth has FOUR!

my name is elizabeth

My Name is Elizabeth

Written by Annika Dunklee

Illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

Publisher: Kids Can Press (2012)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes: Communication, respect

Opening Line:

“My name is Elizabeth.”


From Amazon:

Meet Elizabeth. She’s got an excellent pet duck, a loving granddad and a first name that’s just awesome. After all, she’s got a queen named after her! So she’s really not amused when people insist on using nicknames like Lizzy and Beth. She bears her frustration in silence until an otherwise ordinary autumn day, when she discovers her power to change things once and for all. In the process, Elizabeth learns about communication and respect — and their roles in building better relationships with family and friends.”

Why I like this book:

  • When I was a kid, my friends called me Viv. When I was teaching, some of my colleagues called me V. People often spell my name Vivien or Vivienne or even Vivianne. Unlike Elizabeth, I was always happy with whatever people felt comfortable calling me. But I totally understand how Elizabeth felt…and so will many children.
  • I loved the way Elizabeth dealt with the problem…she communicated what was bothering her and she stood up for what she felt was important…but she did allow her little brother to give her a nickname.

Related Activies:

Talk to your child about his or her name. Do they like it? Does anyone make fun of it? If they have a nickname, is it a derivative of their given name or something totally different.


You will need: Paper, markers or crayons.

  1. Help your child write his name across a piece of paper.
  2. Connect some of the lines to create shapes.
  3. Fill in the shapes with designs.

ZenTangle-Steps-for-KidsPhoto courtesy: http://imaginationsoup.net

Find detailed instructions for zentangles and zendoodles here: http://imaginationsoup.net/2013/07/15/diy-summer-art-school-zentangle-doodles/


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28 thoughts on “PPBF: My Name is Elizabeth

  1. Perfect choice, Vivian. As someone who has struggled with this issue my entire life, who still tries to remind people that I prefer my full name and who even chose children’s names that are not easily chopped into nicknames, I can relate well to Elizabeth’s dilemma. Bravo for Elizabeth, though, to embrace her brother’s butchered version, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed the zentangle activity, Gabi. Isn’t it so interesting…I think everyone who is commenting here has dealt with similar name issues…the author was very smart…she found a topic that most kids could relate to. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I first looked at the title and the cover (looks like a crown), I thought it was going to be a story about Queen Elizabeth II, as her birthday was this week. Was I surprised. This is an important book that so many kids will relate to use at school. Such a great choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always appreciated books about names. With an ESL class, kids have to deal with “different” names on a daily basis. I’ve always had the opposite problem of your Elizabeth. As Beth, I’m always asked if my real name is Elizabeth. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beth…that is really interesting that you had the opposite problem of people wondering if your real name was a nickname. 😉 Glad this post is generating lots of discussion about names. 🙂


  4. This book is so relatable. My name is Jean and I can’t tell you how many times growing up people tried to call me Jeannie and I just hated it, or worse I was called Elizabeth (my sisters name…ugh!). Great choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t that so true, Jean? No matter what our name is, people will always mess it up…it’s pretty funny…my last name is Kirkfield…and even when people are looking at it printed on my book or on a name card…they say Kirkland or Kirkwood. I don’t really care, but if I am giving a presentation or selling my book, I want to make sure they get the name right. 😉 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good question, Julie! And of course, since you asked it, I had to look it up…here you go:
      The term “nickname” originated as an Anglo-Saxon word: ekename. In the Anglo-Saxon tongue, “eke” meant “also” or “added.” The term seemed just a bit awkward to pronounce; so, it became slurred, converting ekename to nekename and finally to become nickname.
      Very interesting. 😉


    • Oops…I have probably been one of those shortening people, Barbara…I know I am short. 😉 🙂 😉
      Glad you were able to relate to the story…I think that is the genius of the author…she found a topic that most people could relate to. 😉


    • Oh my goodness…believe me, I do understand…our daughter is Caroline…and we always called her Carrie…but now, as an adult, she wants to be Caroline…she (and we) pronounce it Caro-lyn…so someone might ask us why we didn’t spell it that way, right? because many who spell it her way pronounce it Caro-line. Sorry you had to struggle with yours, Jilanne. I think this book will help many kids. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I can see how that would be confusing. And it’s interesting that when you shorten it to Carrie, the “r” gets doubled. I have so many friends named Jennifer, but when they shorten their names, it’s a toss-up whether they spell “Jen/n” with one “n” or two. I gave up being self-conscious about my name when I became an adult. Now, I really like it. I’ve never met another Jilanne. Lots of Jillians but no Jilanne.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I just thought of that quote, Sue. Glad you love the zendoodle…I did it with my grandson this weekend…I have a spirograph set I had forgotten to give him for Christmas…so we used that also. 😉


  5. I love this book! My cousin gave it to me for my birthday a few years ago — somehow it made her think of me. 😉

    With the name Elizabeth, I made use of varying forms of it during my teens, although I gave up quickly on Lizanne, when a friend started calling me Lasagna instead. 😉 My parents always made it clear when I was small that I was Beth, and after my teen experimental-name years were over, I realized that Beth best suited me, and I went back to Beth.

    I had a teacher in 4th and 5th grade who constantly called me Betty, no matter how many times I insisted my name was BETH. I can identify with Elizabeth in this book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the story about Lizanne/Lasagna…and maybe your teacher knew a Betty and you reminded her of that person. 😉 Glad you knew who you were and stuck to it no matter what. 😉 I love the name Beth…but always want to say ‘Bethie’ because I think of Little Women and always identified with the shy one who loved the piano. 😉


    • Thanks for stopping by, Erik. 🙂 And I’m not sure about there not being a way to nickname ‘Erik’..I think EVERY name can lend itself to being shortened…how about: Ric/Rik/Err? 🙂 😉 😉


  6. I come from a family of avid nicknamers, to the point that my sister and I used to coach each other when visiting our aunt to just “answer her if she’s looking at you no matter what name she says”!

    This book looks hilarious! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday last week. I’m sorry I’m late getting around!


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