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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Is your name difficult to pronounce and does the spelling of your name indicate what it should sound like? If your name was Shadaia, how would you want everyone to pronounce it, and is it worth the effort to continually correct people in their pronunciations? Perhaps what you need, then, is a nickname. That’s what Shadaia believes. But what can she choose for a nickname and why would she? What’s wrong with her real name, the name her parents specifically chose for her to show her their love? Tradara McLaurine explores this dilemma in I want a Nickname. All names have meanings and Shadaia has decided that her name isn’t that difficult to pronounce and it's unique, special, and full of meaning.
Tradara McLaurine’s picture book, I Want a Nickname, is about self-identity and being proud of who you are and what your name means to you and those who love you. The plot follows Shadaia’s struggles to continuously correct people so they can pronounce her name properly. Friends, teachers, and coaches all have the same problem, even those in the stands cheering her on to a homerun who can’t say her name. Her young brother can, so if a young child can pronounce it why can’t everyone else? The language is simple so young readers can follow and work on their reading skills. The illustrations are bright, bold, colorful, and full of life, sometimes pensive and, at other times, full of energy. This is a very empowering story that will inspire young readers to be comfortable with their self-identity, which includes their name.