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Teach Us Your Name: Book Review & Activities

Teach Us Your Name is a children’s book bringing awareness to the importance of respecting everyone’s name, empowering kids to teach others about their name, and encouraging a positive classroom culture that values diversity. It is a book that belongs in every classroom!

“Everyone has a name and every name has a story.” – Huda Essa, educator and author of Teach Us Your Name.

Teach Us Your Name

Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes; however, all opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Teach Us Your Name Summary

Kareemalayaseenadeen (Kareema-lay-yes-seen-a-deen) absolutely hates her name. She fears her teacher will have trouble pronouncing it correctly and her classmates will laugh at her. She’s is angry at her parents for ever naming her that “ugly, terrible, weird and ridiculously long name.”

Teach Us Your Name

Kareemalayaseenadeen doesn’t see her name in the books she reads, the history she learns, or in the shows she watches. She’s frustrated by the fact that she cannot finding her name on a mug or a keychain. She eventually finds it easier to just accept the name her teachers and classmates begin calling her, Karma-deen – and even starts calling herself that too.

Then during an overseas trip to visit family, the young girl learns her name means “guidance.” She is encouraged by her wise grandmother to guide others on the proper way to say her name. Kareemalayaseenadeen creates a plan and teaches others how to pronounce her name the way she wants it to be said.  She grows to appreciate her “lovely, meaningful, unique name.”

Teach Us Your Name

Teach Us Your Name FREE Resources & Activities

Supplemental Resource Guide  Themes, ideas, and talking points for specific pages from the author.

My Name, My Identity  Respect, appreciate, and connect with students and their family by pledging to pronounce students’ names correctly. #MyNameMyID

Behind the Name Browse first names and learn their meanings, languages, pronunciation, history and more. #BehindTheName

Teach Us Your Name printable  Empower each student to be confident and proud of their name with this printable from Globe Trottin’ Kids. #TeachUsYourName

Teach Us Your Name worksheet

Teach Us Your Name Meet the Author

Hudda Essa is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant at Culture Links, LLC.

Learn more about the ultimate purpose of this book and the story behind it. (Great staff development video!)

Teach Us Your Name

Related Book & Book Companion

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Unhei, a young girl from Korea, faces many challenges when she moves to a new culture – including what to do about her name. Unhei’s new American classmates have difficulty pronouncing and understanding her Korean name, making her think she should choose a new one.

Ultimately, Unhei learns to embrace her own name and shares it, its meaning, and her Korean culture with her new friends.

The Name Jar

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.

Tell Teach Us Your Name

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

Medallion Level Sponsors

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Claudia Schwam, Lori DeMonia, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media!

MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.

Tell Teach Us Your Name


Multicultural Books for Teachers

Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld






  1. Valarie on January 25, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Wonderful review. This book has such tremendous meaning. Thank you for sharing it with us and for celebrating MCBD. Happy MCBD!!!!

    • Julie Yeros on January 25, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you! We are thrilled to be participating in such an impactful event as Multicultural Children’s Book Day and sharing quality diverse kid lit! Happy Day!!

  2. Aamira Teresa Rollins on February 3, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    5.0 out of 5 stars What’s In a Name?! “Everything!”
    January 29, 2019
    Format: Paperback
    Multi-Cultural Children’s Books introduced me to: ” Tell Teach Us Your Name.” The author Huda Essa mailed it to me for review. The elements of this book are enjoyable. The cover is colorful and has phonetically written ways to review the authors’ name as well as the illustrator. This phonetic introduction continues in the next two pages beyond the cover. It was interesting to review other names that were introduced phonetically. I recognized these names as they are names of individuals who may come from a different country as well as culture. I could immediately identify with the little girl in the story with a long name and seemingly foreign name, as I have had students who experienced the same difficulties with their names being mispronounced as well as my own ( I am of Ethiopian Ancestry born in the USA).
    The wonderful side of this book is that Kareema-lay-yes-seen-a-deen was encouraged to take ownership of her name by understanding its’ meaning, and culture, as well as help others, to learn to pronounce her name which brought ease among her classmates as well as within herself.
    I would highly recommend this book as it is a fascinating story on a way in assisting children to learn that there is no such thing as a weird name, as well as give them tools in dealing with unfamiliar names.

    My name is Aamirah ( Ah mir-rah) Inaam ( E-nam) Rollins (Rah-lyns)

    MCBD 2019

    • Julie Yeros on February 5, 2019 at 1:46 pm

      Great review Aamirah! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this wonderful book.

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