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Best Girls’ Storybook Names: Beyond Madeline and Matilda

For many name lovers, that passion was sparked by a name that jumped out from the pages of an early-encountered children’s storybook. It might have been as simple as Alice or Anne, Jo, Beth, Amy or Meg, as fanciful as Pollyanna or Amelia Bedelia, as memorable as Eloise or Fern, Madeline or Matilda– or even have been an attractive animal’s name like Celeste the elephant or rabbits Cecily or Jemima. It’s hard to pick a dozen best from all the possible choices, but here are our top 12 most adventurous:

Annika

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The name of the eponymous heroine of the Pippi Longstocking books is not particularly usable (Pippa yes, Pippi no), but that of her neighbor and friend, Annika Settigren is. This appealing Swedish diminutive of Anna has been catching on in recent years, perhaps partly inspired by golfer Annika Sorenstam.

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