My Name Is Wakawakaloch!

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Title: My Name Is Wakawakaloch!
Contributors: Chana Stiefel (Author), Mary Sullivan (Illustrator)
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 27, 2019
ISBN13: 978-1328732095

Grades: Pre-K-3



In this lighthearted picture book, the intrepid, determined, and savvy Wakawakaloch learns to embrace what makes her special while lifting up her neanderthal community. Perfect for fans of Vera Brosgol and Emily Hughes.

No one can pronounce Wakawakaloch’s name. Why couldn’t she be called something simple . . . like Gloop? That’s a name you can find on a T-shirt! But after a visit with her tribe’s elder, Wakawakaloch discovers what her name means, and how powerful names can be. Gloop may be easy to say, but the girl who helps her friends embrace differences and wear their names proudly? Her name is Wakawakaloch!

FREE Teaching Guide!

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My Name Is Wakawakaloch (Je M’appelle Wakawakaloch) has been shortlisted for the UNICEF Prize in Children’s Literature in the 6-8 year old category on theme of family.

“For the child with an unusual name, Wakawakaloch feels the pain. Everyone keeps mispronouncing her name and she can't find it on a T-shirt anywhere. But some wisdom from an elder helps her see the value of sounding different.”
Lisa Tolin,'s "20 Best Kids' Books to Calm Back-to-School Jitters" 

“Wakawakaloch's frustrations surrounding the mispronunciation of her name will resonate with many, and her taking inspiration from her ancestor is a lovely touch. This bombastic main character allows the story to shine."
For the full review, click here.
Kirkus Review

"Energetic, colorful cartoon illustrations depict peppy, bushy-pigtailed Wakawakaloch in a Flintstones’-like prehistoric setting with witty, often anachronistic details, like cupcakes, the literally stone computers in the family’s cave, and a game called “Roll-the-Boulder.” The approach to subject will likely amuse while also encouraging respect and appreciation for the uniqueness of all names—and their proper pronunciations."

“I have a major book crush. Wakawakaloch is absolutely HILARIOUS! The text is funny and clever, the art is beyond adorable.”
Corey Rosen Schwartz, Children’s book author

“Me love book a lot. So funny and so kid-friendly. Excellent writing and illustrations...It's heartfelt, too! And the caveman theme is awesome.”
Diana Murray, Children’s book author

"Great for any child whose name is unusual, hard to pronounce, old-fashioned, or different in any way."

"With themes of identity, acceptance, and taking action, My Name is Wakawakaloch! is a perfect read aloud for the beginning of the school year, especially as students are getting to know each other and teachers are building a classroom community with their kids."

"Kids will love trying to say all the strange names in the book including Wakawakaloch. For all those kids that have a unique sounding or spelling of their name, they will be able to relate to Wakawakaloch and appreciate their own specially chosen name."

"Wakawakaloch starts this conversation at a young age, not only for teachers but for students. Name is part of our identity and Wakawakaloch should be mad that others aren’t trying! Not only is the concept important, it is really well done! Done in a way that doesn’t feel preachy, is funny, but also still gets its message across clearly."

"This fresh tale will resonate with any child who feels different for any reason. . . . Stiefel deftly navigates this sensitive landscape with a combination of honest feelings and hilarious mispronunciations, prehistoric details, and descriptions. Readers will laugh all the way through but will also be absorbing the lesson that everyone should embrace their own “mighty” personality and be celebrated and recognized for their unique qualities."

“Full of heart and humor – definitely a must-have for every home bookshelf and school library!”
Vivian Kirkfield, Children's book author

"Books like My Name is Wakawakaloch! show kids (and adults) that our names are as individual as we are, and that there are positive ways to embrace our names and encourage others to embrace both our names and their names."

"Even readers who have an easy name to pronounce should get their hands on a copy of My Name is Wakawakaloch! because it’s a great way to step into someone else’s shoes (although everyone’s barefoot in this picture book!) to understand the frustration that this adorable main character feels. Set in the Stone Age featuring funny “Flintstones”-like artistic touches from illustrator Mary Sullivan, this charming picture book also invites read-aloud opportunities, especially when it comes to saying the hysterical names that Stiefel’s made up.