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:


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In the vintage (1881-1916) children’s book series The Five Little Peppers, Sophronia, nicknamed Phronsie, is the youngest in the family, just three when the series starts. Sophronia was also used by Dickens in two of his novels, and can be seen as a unique, if archaic elaboration of Sophia/Sophie.

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