Celebrity Names Blog

Do Celebs Look to Children's Books for Naming Inspiration?

Children's books inspire kids to use their imaginations and think differently about themselves, other people, and the world -- do they also provide naming inspiration for parents? 

We turned to names often seen on young people's bookshelves, and then checked out which celebrity babies also held these names: 

Olivia (of the Olivia series)

Eloise (of the Eloise series)

Madeline (of the Madeline series)

Alexander (of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day)

Max (of Where The Wild Things Are)  [& check out earlier Name Candy post on Max, Maurice & Where The Wild Things Are]

And then moving onto chapter books...

James (of James and the Giant Peach)

Matilda (of Matilda)

Ramona (of the Ramona Quimby series)

Margaret (of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret)

Which of these names stand out to you -- any favorites?  We've always been a fan of Matilda and Max, and wonder if Eloise might soon see increased popularity -- the name fits with the "old lady" names currently seeing a resurgance. 

Go back to your childhood -- or reading to your child -- and tell us which characters stand out in your memory, from picture books to young adult books.  And let us know if you like the idea of finding your child's name in a children's book.

--D.J.

Comments

Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

August 31, 2010 2:30 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

There are a gazillion literary Henrys, too -- one of the things that attracted me (a children's librarian) to the name.

On the other hand, there are a lot of books out right now with main characters named Otto, but I only know one young Otto.

Do you think there's a distinction to be drawn between names from books celebrities (or real people, for that matter) read as children/teens and books that are coming out now?

August 31, 2010 4:12 PM
By ER (not verified)

I'd say there is a fair amount of influence that books hold over perceptions of names. For example, I always considered Percy a stuffy name until I read the Percy Jackson books and now I don't think I'd discount it as a possibility out of hand when I have children in the (far) future. (I'm still in my mid-teens)

However, the names used in this post are fairly common- or, at least not uncommon names where I come from so I wouldn't say that the parents would have picked those names from the books, especially when you consider that they are all children's books. It's more like because the names are in the public conciousness both the parents and the authors picked names they liked.

August 31, 2010 5:00 PM
By kmc (not verified)

Don't forget Ellen Pompeo who named her daughter Stella Luna (as in Stellaluna, the bat).

August 31, 2010 9:53 PM
By Dominique

Anon, interesting point. Hmm, if you didn't know author or date, do you think you'd be able to guess if the names Harry, Bella, Edward, Ramona, Matilda, James, Ron, Hermione, Alice, Jacob came from books from several decades ago or from the past few years?

September 3, 2010 9:54 PM
By Bryony (not verified)

Don't forget Gaia Romilly, Emma Thompson's daughter, from the Nurse Matilda books!

July 5, 2011 8:08 PM
By Ruth Adrienne (not verified)

I don't think these names were necessarily picked because they are popular children's books but I do think names that are currently in the public eye inspire parents to consider a name...like ones in Harry Potter or Twilight. I haven't heard of any Hermionesthough.I heard an interesting talk on NPR recently that said we are all into naming babies unusual names now & that names from our great-grandparents generation that were considered old-fashioned are now considered unusual again and are being used. As an elementary librarian I do like that children's book names are being used though!

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