The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name
18 Aug. 2021
When Zimdalamashkermishkada starts a new school, he knows he’s got to do something about his long name.
When no amount of shrinking, folding or crumpling works, he simply settles for Zim – but deep down, it doesn’t feel right. It’s not until a new friend sees him for who he truly is that Zimdalamashkermishkada finds the confidence to step boldly into his long name.
A warm and uplifting story that encourages young readers to celebrate their individuality, and shows how no-one should ever have to shrink themselves down to fit in.
InformationBook Type: Picture Books
Age Group: 3 years +
Class Novel: No
Good Reads Rating: /5
Literary Rating: /5
Zimdalamashkermishkada is starting at a new school, and he’s sure of one thing—he needs to shrink his name! But all through his first day, no matter what he tries, his big, long name always snaps back out to full length.
When his new friend Elly starts calling him Zim, he is initially relieved that his name has finally shrunk…until he realises that Zim doesn’t feel quite right. As their friendship grows, Elly teaches Zimdalamashkermishkada how to skateboard and he teaches her how to pronounce his name. With a bit of practice, he finally feels comfortable with his new friends—and proud of his long, lovely name!
The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name is a heart-warming story about being proud of who you are and not changing yourself to please other people.
Zimdalamashkermishkada and Elly both set a good example by learning how to be good friends to each other—both as teachers and as students. This is also an important reminder to be respectful of people’s cultural backgrounds and identities.
Throughout the book, Zimdalamashkermishkada’s name is represented as a series of objects: an unravelling ball of string, a puffer fish, an origami box. These represent the name’s unwillingness to be contained. Over time the shapes become more fluid and non-representational, showing that Zimdalamashkermishkada is working with his name rather than struggling against it. This creative motif makes the story extra engaging, and adds a layer of meaning to the illustrations.
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