HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: If My Name Was Amanda
Author: Curtis Edmonds
Illustrator: Mat Sadler
Publisher: Scary Hippopotamus Books, 2017
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 1 – 5
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Edmonds, Curtis. If My Name Was Amanda (published in 2017 by Scary Hippopotamus Books, Trenton, NJ). “If my name was Amanda I’d live in Atlanta, And I’d wave hello to a shark….” A little girl, who is not named Amanda but does have a big imagination, thinks about all the alphabetical adventures that she might have if she had different names and lived in different places. “If my name was Bonnie Then I’d live in Boston Where I’d chase the ducks in the park.” These include playing jazz in New Orleans and learning to ski in Vermont. Which name does she imagine for “Z”? Where would she live? And what would she be doing?
This cleverly written picture book for children, with its playful, rhyming text and Mat Sadler’s colorful, engaging illustrations, is a great way to help youngsters who are starting to recognize the alphabet and at the same time to introduce them to different cities and states throughout America. There is a map in the back of the book to show where the different places are located. It would also be good practice for early readers. I do have to agree with the reader who was confused regarding the letter “X.” Xenia wou!d live in Topeka because “No towns start with X, after all.” When we lived in Dayton, OH, we were about twenty miles from Xenia, and now we live about twenty miles from Xenia, IL. Of course, that might require a change in the girl’s name. Xanthippe? Xaviera? Maybe it is best to leave it alone.
Author Curtis Edmonds is a novelist and attorney. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Untoward Magazine, Liberty Island, The Big Jewel, Yankee Pot Roast, and National Review Online. He has written two novels, Wreathed, a humorous contemporary romance set in the beach resort of Cape May, NJ, and Rain on Your Wedding Day, a literary romance set in the mountains north of Atlanta, GA. If My Name Was Amanda is his first book for children. It is a cute story featuring a little girl’s journey across America with great facts about 26 places in our country that children can use as a springboard for their own imaginative adventures.