Joyful Song: A Naming Story

Illustrated by Susan Gal
Publisher: Levine Querido (2024)

Joyful Song: A Naming StoryBuy This Book

For an autographed copy of any of Lesléa’s books, please send an email directly to her.

Zachary’s baby sister will have her naming ceremony. In the temple! With his two moms! And the entire congregation and all their friends! But what is the baby’s name? As more and more friends and neighbors join the family’s walk to synagogue and ask this question, Zachary finds it harder and harder to keep his sister’s name a secret. Finally at the end of services, there is the great reveal. A truly joyous moment!

Why I wrote this book:

Many years ago, during a Shabbat service I attended, a couple with their new baby were called to the bima for the baby’s naming ceremony. The rabbi blessed the two moms and the baby and then the baby was introduced to the community. I found this celebration so moving, I decided to write a book about it.

Zachary and his baby sister
Zachary and his baby sister


Shabbat is the best day of the week and today is the best best day of all.

It’s my baby sister’s very first Shabbat and we get to stand on the bima with the Rabbi in front of everyone and announce her name to the world!

Miss Fukumi is watering the roses in her garden. “Good morning, Zachary.” She nods at the carriage. “Who are you pushing?”

“My brand-new baby sister.”

“What’s her name?” Miss Fukumi asks.

“Her name is—”


Kirkus starred review

“A soaring ode to community, tradition, and family.”

Publishers Weekly starred review