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BABY NAMES INSPIRED BY PICTURE BOOKS

July 22, 2017
BabyLit Board Books Classic Novels for Babies and ToddlersBaby Names inspired by Children's Picture Books

Choosing a baby name is a difficult task. A name is so important to a person's identity and you don't want to make the wrong choice. It is hard to pick a name for someone that you haven't even met yet.

Baby naming is even more difficult when you are a teacher. Teachers know way too many kids and way too many names. You know the "good kids" and the "bad kids" and you DON'T want to pick a bad kid name. You also know the names that are constantly misspelled or mispronounce and the names that are way too popular (ie. Sophia B., Sophia M., Sophia T. etc.)

When we named our son Theodore it wasn't a very popular name. We loved the nickname Teddy and we loved that it came with a bunch of different nicknames to choose from so he could customize his name when he was older. Teddy is a classic boy's name and a good classic never goes out of style.

For this list I picked names that I would actually choose for my own child (although my husband would probably put the kibosh on all of them). In my opinion, thes names have classic roots, aren't too trendy, and they all have cute nicknames. They are inspired by some of my favorite children's picture books that you should definitely consider adding to your child's book shelf whether you choose one of these names or not.

This post contains Amazon affiliated links for your convenience. I only write about products I love and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. See full disclosure here.

BOY'S NAMES

MAX

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

The classic picture book by Maurice Sendak is about an imaginative little boy named Max who starts a "wild rumpus" with some crazy beasts! Max is one of my favorite nicknames; short for Maximillian, Maximus or Maxwell. Max literally means "great" so you know it is good!

HAROLD

HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON

An imaginative baby named Harold draws himself an adventure with his magical purple crayon in Crokett Johnson's classic picture book Harold and the Purple Crayon. Harold might sound like your grandpa's name, but Harry is a super cute nickname for a little boy. I also love old man names for babies....

GEORGE

OH NO, GEORGE!

I love any book by Chris Haughton and this book is no exception. Oh No, George is about a naughty dog that gets into some trouble before learning a little self-control. George is a great, classic name fit for a king, or a president, or a silver-fox ER doctor. My nephew is named George with the nickname Georgie and he could not be any cuter!

IGGY

IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT

In this amazing series by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated by David Roberts, the title character, Iggy, loves to build unique architecture out of unconventional materials, much to his teachers dismay. I'm one of those people that falls in love with nicknames and then am like "what the heck would the full name be?" Iggy is one of those incredibly cute nicknames with unfortunate full-name options...Ignatius or Igor, no thank you. But, it is the twenty-first century and people are naming their kids all sorts of crazy things so Iggy as a first name is perfectly acceptable!

BENTLEY

SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY

This book is actually semi-biographical, it is based on the life of Wilson Bentley, who photographed and explored snowflakes. Be- names are really popular this year (ie. Bennett, Beckham, Beckett, Becker) and Bentley is a great alternative. It's the name of a fancy car and I'm pretty sure it was the name of one of the kids from Teen Mom (don't judge me, I accidentally watched an episode or ten...)

FREDERICK

FREDERICK

Leo Leionni's title character, Frederick, is a poetic little mouse, who warms the hearts of his friends with his stories. Frederick was one of my top boy names, because I love the nickname Freddy (we can thank Freddy Prinze  Jr. for that). If we didn't already have a Teddy this would probably be our name for hypothetical baby boy #2.

LIAM

THE CURIOUS GARDEN 

In Peter Brown's The Curious Garden, red-headed Liam finds a struggling garden. Once he tends to the garden it spreads across the dreary town turning it green and beautiful. Speaking of beautiful...Liam Hemsworth is among the most notable of Liams. I suppose it is already a pretty popular name, but it should be! The Irish version of William, means "resolute protection" and "talented gardener" (ok, just kidding about the second one...)

SAM

SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE 

In the humorous and beautiful illustrated Sam and Dave Dig a Hole written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, two friends dig and dig to discover (or almost discover) many wonderful treasures. Sam is a classic boy's nickname; short for Samuel, it means "asked of God" in Hebrew. Sam can also be a nickname for Samson or swapped out with Sammy.

OSKAR or THEODORE

THE NOT SO QUIET LIBRARY

In the Not So Quiet Library by Zachary O'Hara, Oskar and his bear friend Theodore are confronted by a hangry monster in the library! It is no secret that I am partial to the name Theodore! The name is strong and presidential. It means "divine gift." It has great nicknames like Ted, Teddy, Tad or Theo. Oskar (or Oscar) was another one of my favorites because I love the nickname Ozzie.

LEO

LEO: A GHOST STORY

Another book by Mac Barnett, this time illustrated by Christian Robinson, Leo: A Ghost Story is about a friendly misunderstood ghost  that makes a new friend. I love the name Leo. Doesn't every 80's girl have a soft spot in their heart for the name Leo after seeing Titanic?  Leo, short for Leonard or Leonardo means "lion" in Latin and is adorable for a little baby and professional for an adult.

GIRL'S NAMES

ADA

ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

In Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts a curious little girl questions, experiments, discovers and causes a little bit of trouble! Ada is a German name, popular in the late 1800's. I think it stands well on its own but would also be a great nickname for Adelaide, Adeline, Adelyn or even Addison.

TRIXIE

KNUFFLE BUNNY

I taught a little girl named Trixie once and she was the most adorable little girl that it made me love the name! Her full name was Beatrix like Beatrix Potter and I suggested the name to my husband who said "Absolutely not" and then told me that I only like stripper nicknames for girls. In the Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems, Trixie is not a stripper, she is a little girl who takes her stuffed bunny on a series of misadventures!

FLORA

FLORA AND THE FLAMINGO

The name Flora is ultra-feminine and full of vintage charm. Flora is the Roman goddess of flowers and if you are having twins you can name the other one Fauna (jk). In the wordless Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle, a little girl named Flora and her flamingo friend learn to dance together.

MARISOL

SKY COLOR

Marisol is a pretty Spanish name associated with the Virgin Mary. In Peter Reynold's Sky Color from his Creatrilogy series, Marisol is a little girl who loves to paint. She has to paint a mural for her school but she doesn't have any blue paint for the sky so she has to get a little bit creative!

ROSIE

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

In Rosie Revere, Engineer, the junior inventor, Rosie, attempts to create a flying contraption for her great, great Aunt, Rosie the Riveter. Rosie is a feminine but strong name! If you can hear the name Rosie and not picture Rosie O'Donnell (I can't) then this name could be for you! Full names could be Rose, Rosemary or Rosanne.

MAISY

THE MAISY MOUSE SERIES

Maisy (or Maisie) was our number two girl's name for a while! Aria from Game of Thrones is named Maisy and how bad a$$ is she? This Scottish name means "pearl" and is actually a nickname for Margaret, but I think it stands on its own as a first name pretty well! Just ask Maisy mouse from Lucy Cousin's series.

ANNABELLE

EXTRA YARN

In Extra Yarn (See EXTRA YARN REVIEW + ACTIVITIES) by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, Annabelle finds a magic box of yarn and covers her entire dreary town in knitted sweaters! Annabelle is a fresher alternative to the popular Anne or Anna. How can you not love a name that means "lovable?"

OLIVIA

OLIVIA

The name Olivia is at the top of the name popularity charts. It's the name of a Shakespearean beauty, several Hollywood babes and a very precocious pig! In the Olivia series by Ian Falconer, Olivia is a high-energy little piglet (think the pig version of Eloise) who goes on adventures and learns new skills like counting and the alphabet.

EDIE

EDIE

Similar to Olivia or Eloise, Sophy Henn's character Edie is a little bit of a trouble maker. The Edie (Edy) that I knew was not a trouble maker at all, so don't worry, I am sure your little Edie would be an angel. Short for the name Edith or Eden; it means "prosperous in war."

LUCY

LENNY AND LUCY

I love Lucy. The adorable nickname for Lucille means "light."  In Lenny and Lucy by Philip and Erin Stead, the character Lucy is essentially a pile of pillows dressed up like a lady! She was made as the female companion to Lenny, another pile of pillows, as they guard the bridge and keep Peter and his dog Harold safe.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

MADELINE MADELINE

ELOISE ELOISE

WINNIE FINDING WINNIE

SADIE THIS IS SADIE

WHAT BABY NAMES ARE YOUR FAVORITE?

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15 Comments

  • Reply Johlene Orton July 24, 2017 at 5:49 am

    I love the names Liam and Olivia, beautiful!!

  • Reply Melissa D July 24, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Great names (and books!)…I immediately thought of Max, and it was #1. 🙂

    Theodore is one of my favorite names, and of course reminds me of Laurie from Little Women.

    • Reply ureadyteddy July 24, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Thank you! Little Women was one of my favorite books growing up so I always think of it too!

  • Reply Ayana July 24, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    This is such a creative post with so many wonderful names!! I love Frederick <3 I might have to save this list for the next baby!

  • Reply James July 25, 2017 at 10:23 am

    This is great, my son is called Max and my wife is Olivia. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Dinesh July 25, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Lol.. We had a great time pondering over the options for our baby name.. Refreshing post..

  • Reply Jessica July 25, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    These are cute! Love the names and the books!!

  • Reply Jamie Slack July 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    What a fun idea! I love this since I’m in the children’s book business! I wish more people would choose their children’s names from books!

  • Reply Maranda Laverdure July 25, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    It is so fun to talk about baby names and how people pick one!

  • Reply Jiya B July 25, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    I loved reading the name descriptions you gave. I am hindu we beleive in name so much we give name with a meaning and as per our mythology and religion it is beleived that the name decides fates. Well Honestly i dont beleive in this I only assume Name is a love gift which parents give to their child.

  • Reply The Salty Mamas July 25, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    How sweet is this list?!? I was really campaigning for Theodore for our son’s middle name, but I lost that battle (we gave him a family name instead). And you featured some of our favorite books, the ones from Andrea Beatty!

  • Reply Kanani Stone July 26, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Very nice names to think about for an expecting mama!

  • Reply Neha July 26, 2017 at 8:22 am

    That’s a lovely collection of books! Will try to get some for my kids.

  • Reply Brenda August 3, 2017 at 4:58 am

    I love this post! Such great names, and I’m dying over your husband saying you only liked stripper names for girls. It’s so hard to agree! I wanted Nora, my husband said “like Norovirus?!”. And we are both teachers, so that made the whole process even worse!

    • Reply ureadyteddy August 3, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Hahaha I can not even imagine how you agreed on a name when you were both teachers!

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