Children’s Book Names: From Aidan to Zoe

Baby Name Trends

While browsing through a recent issue of The New Yorker magazine, I came across an article about the current generation of picture books and their bratty protagonists.  It was illustrated by an image from a book called Finn Throws a Fit.  Aha, I thought, so juvenile authors are on top of current naming trends.  This impelled me to go running (figuratively) to my local Borders to seek further evidence.

One difference I noticed immediately was that there were more little human protagonists and fewer of the porcine (excluding Olivia), feline, canine, bovine, etc persuasion than there were in the past, and there were, as the article pointed out, a lot more angry children populating the pages, and a lot more preoccupation with poop and farts.

In terms of names, I was surprised to see that there was a book title containing almost every currently popular choice—almost as many as there are on the personalized pencils in the airport—a big upswing from the past.  Here are some titles all released since the turn of the century–and they’re just the tip of the iceberg!:

Girls

AVA and the Magic Tutu

CHLOE’S Snowy Day

CLEMENTINE

CONSTANCE and the Great Escape

ELIZA and the Dragonfly

HARRIET, You’ll Drive Me Wild

ISABEL’S Car Wash

My Name is Not ISABELLA

IVY and Bean

JUNIE B., First Grader

The Adventures of LAILA and MAYA

LILLY’s Big Day

Let’s Find LUCY

MAISY series

MERCY Watson series

Fancy NANCY series

OLIVIA

RUBY’S FALLING LEAVES

Silly SOPHIA

When SOPHIE Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry

TALLULAH in the Kitchen

I, TRIXIE

Goodnight, my sweet VIOLET

WILLA and the Wind, WILLA the Wonderful

WILLOW

ZOE‘s Tale, ZOE‘s Hats, ZOE and CHLOE on the Prowl

BOYS

AIDAN’S First Full Moon Circle

BARNABY Bear

BRAYDEN, BRAYDEN, Who Do You See?

COOPER‘S Lesson

DEWEY! There’s a Cat in the Library

DEXTER Gets Dressed

JAYDEN‘s Rescue

JULIUS, The Baby of the World

KYLE’s First Crush

LIAM Goes Poo in the Toilet

MILO series

MILTON’s Secret

OLIVER Who Would Not Sleep

OSCAR: The Big Adventure of a Little Sock Monkey

OTIS

OWEN

PHINEAS & Ferb series

Flat STANLEY series

WALTER the Farting Dog series

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14 Responses to “Children’s Book Names: From Aidan to Zoe”

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rachelmarie Says:

November 9th, 2009 at 1:12 am

I loved the Junie B books when I was younger, and when I babysit I see kids reading them too. A little girl I babysit for loves the Fancy Nancy and Lilly books (like Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse). Julius was Lilly’s older or younger brother, I believe. That’s funny that they made a series about him, too. And Owen is also by the same author. Ruby from Ruby’s Falling Leaves also has a children’s show called Ruby and Max.
I’m slightly disappointed that the “-ayden” trend has followed into children’s books now. It’s also funny to see the popular names being used so often for children’s books.

Some other books I remember reading as a child:
Ramona series
Joey Pigza
Amelia Bedelia
Angelina series (I never read this, but a little girl I babysat for loved these books)
Ella the Elephant (see above, she loved these because her name was Ella)
Nancy Drew
Eloise
Arthur

This post just made my day. Thanks guys 🙂

pdxlibrarian Says:

November 9th, 2009 at 8:11 am

The question is, are books with names that follow the trend popular right now or are authors penning books with popularly named characters at the moment? I would lean towards the former explanation since the Masie series, the Max and Ruby series and the Junie B. Jones books have been around since I was a child in the early 80s.

Abby Says:

November 9th, 2009 at 9:45 am

Great list! I second RachelMarie’s mention of Eloise – it’s among my favorites, both as a girl’s name and a story!

Marly Says:

November 9th, 2009 at 11:26 am

I loved the Junie B books as well. Interesting idea to find the most popular names from current children’s book. I agree this is a great list of names. The only point I’d like to make is that a name should truly reflect the child; and should have some deeper meaning to it. I love names and I’ve talked to people from all over the world about their names. And the ones I find most interesting are 1) people who have changed their names and 2) people who have a story about their name. You can have a common name, but if you have a great story behind it, that makes all the difference in the world.
Marly
http://www.namelymarly.com

Nephele Says:

November 9th, 2009 at 11:45 am

…a lot more angry children populating the pages, and a lot more preoccupation with poop and farts.

I guess a lot of children’s authors are of the opinion that anger, poop, and farts are something that today’s kids can relate to. I’m not so sure about that. The initial hilarity of the poop and farts gets tired awfully fast – for children as well as adults. And where’s the fun in anger?

In the Children’s Department of my public library, sibling stories still seem to be the theme that catches the attention of our youngest library patrons. School stories and super hero stories (or stories about children with unusual talents) rate right up there, too.

And now here’s a set of girls names from one of my all-time favorite sibling-theme series, Sidney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family: Ella, Henny (Henrietta), Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie (Gertrude). The five little girls growing up in turn of the 19th century New York. I can still see them in my imagination, standing in a row at the check-out desk in their public library, all dressed alike in their starched pinafores.

— Nephele

Cassie Says:

November 9th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

My daughters name is Emeline and after she was born, my MIL sent us the book “Emeline Goes to the Circus”. I love that she has SOMETHING “personalized” because I doubt she will ever find a key chain with Emeline on it 🙂

Erin Says:

November 9th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

What a great theme for today’s blog posting! I’d love to see a follow-up of maybe names in adult books that are influencing baby-naming trends. My mother’s favorite book when she was pregnant with me had a main character named Mandy in it, and until I was born, I was going to be Mandy. Then my dad pointed out that Mandy Savage sounded like a stripper, and insisted they name me Erin instead Hehe But I was ALMOST named for an adult literature character, and I’m sure many other people have been as well.

vanessa Says:

November 9th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

What a great list! I write a children’s book blog (www.sillyeaglebooks.com) and will be linking to this post. Currently, I’m keeping a list of all the children’s books I come across with popular names either in the title or as the main character. Some that we’ve found that are not on your list are:

Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn
A New Dress for Maya by Malorie Blackman
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Tessa Snaps Snakes by Alison Lester
Clever Beatrice by Margaret Willey and Heather M. Solomon
Fiona Loves the Night by Patricia McLaughlin

Thanks for helping me add to my list!

caroline Says:

November 9th, 2009 at 9:22 pm

My daughter has read some other books lately with characters named
Tilly (about a ballet-loving little girl)
Flora from a book called No More Cookies
Ella from Ella of Course

When I was growing up, a family friend gave my sister the book Phoebe’s Revolt, which became one of her favorites. I remember thinking the character’s name, Phoebe Euphemia Brandon Brown, was pronounced Fo-bee. Years later, my only child is named Phoebe. I think those beloved early childhood characters influence us more than we sometimes even realize. Maybe that is the reason for the popularity of some of these quirky names which children’s book authors seem to favor.

Anna Says:

November 13th, 2009 at 11:37 pm

There is also a book with a duck about Daisy that is rather cute.

Boston Mom Says:

April 1st, 2011 at 4:23 pm

My girls’ names are Amelia and Ramona — each has her own book series! If we ever have another, we’ll have to find another literary name, so (s)he won’t be left out!

Children’s Book Names: From Aidan to Zoe – Baby Name Blog … Says:

June 28th, 2011 at 11:27 am

Children’s Book Names: From Aidan to Zoe – Baby Name Blog ……

[…]The Adventures of LAILA and MAYA. LILLY ’s Big Day. Let’s Find LUCY. MAISY series … 11 Responses to “Children’s Book Names: From Aidan to Zoe” You can follow any …[…]…

leighann1001 Says:

May 26th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I just stumbled on this. I want to get the great-nieces and nephews books with their names in the title and can’t find an Evan anywhere! My Katy likes Katy and the Big Snow and What Katy Did.

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