The Name Game (Viking, May 2009)

2009-01-09 — Good Characters (Leave a message)

Happy New Year! Got a new reading list for you and your children this year? Here’s one you might consider. It’s called The Name Game—A Look Behind The Labels, geared toward young readers ages 8 and older.

The Name Game by Donna M. Jackson. Illustrated by Ted Stearn.Here’s the advanced cover image of this upcoming hardcover children’s book by Donna M. Jackson, illustrated by Ted Stearn.

We’ve had the pleasure of working with Donna to create her pen name in Chinese. The following is her bio that will appear on THE NAME GAME’s book jacket flap:

Donna M. Jackson was named after a popular song (”Donna”) and grew up in a state that takes its name from the Massachusett tribe of Native Americans. (Any guess which state?) While researching The Name Game, she was given the Chinese pen name of “tang jie” from a California naming company called Good Characters, Inc. Tang (pronounced tahng) calls to mind the Tang Dynasty that reigned during China’s golden age of science, poetry, and art. Jie (pronounced jee-eh) means one’s older sister. This suits her perfectly, because she’s the oldest of four children. Overall, the name is said to give a “welcoming and kind impression.” Visit Donna’s Web site and learn more about names at

I found Donna to be a very personal and very enthusiastic writer. Even though her many books are written for children, I found them to be good reads and learned many things from them.

The Name Game - A Look Behind The Labels by Donna M. Jackson. Illustrated by Ted Stearn.When we created her name, I wasn’t aware that she is the oldest sister among four children. Interesting “coincidences” like this happen often as we dialogue with people about their names and their lives. It’s one of the things that make our work so much fun. We call these serendipities “found in translation” (instead of lost in translation) because taking time to ponder the best name for someone results in a meaningful Chinese name that conveys the uniqueness of that individual.

“Hi Andy,
Thanks so much for sending this along . . . at first glance, what you came up with is wonderful!
I’m on the road today and will take more time to go through everything tonight.
I really appreciate all the time, care and attention that you put into developing my Chinese name. You guys are the BEST!
Have a great day,

“Hi Andy,
Had a bit more time to review the materials you sent. The background information on each character is really interesting.
Not sure if you knew it, but I’m the ‘older sister’ in a family of four children, so tang jie works wonderfully on many levels.
Thanks again for all your time and attention in coming up with a cool name. I’m looking forward to using it!
All the best,

Related Links: