My Name Is Elizabeth! - Thao Lam
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My Name Is Elizabeth!

My Name Is Elizabeth!

My Name Is Elizabeth!

My name is Thao, which often gets mispronounced as Theo, Tow, Tail and Towel. Trust me, I have heard it all. The silent “h” throws people off. Thao is pronounced Tao, like Taoism. Filled with anxiety, I would dread role call on the first day of school. Every mispronunciation by the teachers would make me cringe inside and I would turn red with embarrassment. It took a long time for me to embrace my name. Keep reading…

My Name Is Elizabeth! written by Annika Dunklee and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe is all about embracing your name. Elizabeth likes her name. A lot. She doesn’t like it when people mess with her name – Lizzy, Liz, Beth or Betsy. Fed up, Elizabeth sticks up for herself and announce to the world “My NAME is ELIZABETH Alfreda Roxanne Carmelita Bluebell Jones!!” The story is a subtle lesson in self-respect; your name is your identity, have the confidence to claim it.

Annika Dunklee has been writing since she was a little girl, this is her first published book. All her stories are based on childhood memories and as child her teachers mispronounced Annika’s name often. My Name Is Elizabeth! was originally a class assignment for a children’s writing course Annika Dunklee took George Brown Collage.

The illustrations are sooooo cool! I brought the book for the illustrations. They look like retro drawings that have been silk-screened with two tones, orange and robin’s egg blue. All the text appears in speech bubbles spoken by the characters, an influence stemming from Matthew Forsythe’s comic book background. I love the way Matthew depicted Elizabeth. She is not girly girl so she doesn’t come across as a brat demanding that people address her properly; instead she is feisty and full of sass. Who won’t want to hang out with a girl who skateboards and has a pet duck?

My Name Is Elizabeth!, a children’s book review by Thao Lam

Author Annika Dunklee

There is very little information on author Annika Dunklee. All I was able to find is that she was born in Uppsala, Sweden, to a Scottish father and a Swedish mother. If anyone out there has any info, please share.

I am always tickled pink when an author or an illustrator, takes time out of their busy schedule to reply to a fan mail.

“With regards to my experience when creating My Name Is Elizabeth, simply put, it was exhilarating and effortless;  almost as though the story was writing itself.

My husband originally supplied the illustrations for the book I submitted to Kids Can Press.  He did a great job depicting Elizabeth in the way I had envisioned her.  However, it was Matt Forsythe who ultimately breathed life into the character.”


– Annika Dunklee –


Illustrator Matthew Forsythe

There is very little information on illustrator Matthew Forsythe. All I was able to find is that he’s an illustrator and a comic book artist that is currently living in Montreal, Canada. If anyone out there has any info, please share.

I am always tickled pink when an author or an illustrator, takes time out of their busy schedule to reply to a fan mail.

“When I illustrated Elizabeth I was inspired by the work of French comics and silkscreen artist, BlexBolex. I think I stole the colour palette from one of his books, Dog Crime. I also wanted to do something simple with one or two colours like the kids’ books I loved when I was a kid. I find that restricting the colour actually liberates me to me to do more with the characters and focus more on the story.”



– Matthew Forsythe –


Check out Matthew Forsythe’s website


Publisher Kids Can Press, Ltd. (September 1, 2011)

ISBN-10 1554535603

ISBN-13 978-1554535606