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Book Review: The Complete Book of Baby Names

March is the month to celebrate names! The first week of March is "Celebrate Your Name Week". March 7 is "Learn What Your Name Means Day". March 10 is "Middle Name Pride Day". And March 27 is "National 'Joe' Day"...anyone who dislikes their real name can be called "Joe" for the day. (Not sure what people named Joe do on that day if they dislike their name!)

So in honor of this fun Name Month, I have a name book recommendation for you. It's called The Complete Book of Baby Names: The 100,001 Best Baby Names by author Lesley Bolton

This 677 page comprehensive guide to baby names is a fabulous resource featuring 276 fun category lists including names from children's literature, names with great expectations, middle names, unisex names, names that command respect, etc. There are popular names, including twin names (which are good to know, whether you are looking for a well known name, or trying to avoid one!). Popular names are also sorted by country. Aside from the many unusual lists, the bulk of the book is divided between girls and boys names in alphabetical order.

Looking for an international spy name? Lexine may be the name for you. How about an insect name? Try Cicada on for size. Feeling torn between a pirate name or a Muppet name could mean the difference between Avery or Beaker. This book covers practically all. There are so many fabulously interesting lists that I wish I could name them all here.

The Complete Book of Baby Names is such a fun book to thumb through, even if you're not pregnant! Baby name books are obviously geared towards expectant parents, but I find they are also fun for others as well. You can look up the names of your friends and family members to find the meaning behind their names. This book is also great for writers needing to create names to match their characters' personalities!

I thought I'd go through some of the characters in the books chosen for Literary Child last year and share their meanings, according to The Complete Book of Baby Names.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Axel - (German / Latin / Hebrew) Source of life; small oak / axe / peace

Pippi Longstocking
Pippi - (French/English) A friend of horses / a blushing young woman

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Dorothy - (Greek) A gift of God

James and the Giant Peach
James - (Hebrew) Form of Jacob, meaning "he who supplants"

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice - (German) Woman of the nobility; truthful; having high moral character

The Tale of Despereaux
Gregory - (Greek) One who is vigilant; watchful

Black Beauty
Ginger - (English) A lively woman; resembling the spice

The Moorchild
Bess - (English) Form of Elizabeth, meaning "my God is bountiful"

The Adventures of Pinocchio
Antonio - a variation of Anthony - (Latin) A flourishing man; from an ancient Roman family

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Nicodemus - (Greek) The victory of the people

A Christmas Carol
Ebenezer - (Hebrew) The rock of help

I find it so fascinating that the names of so many of the characters actually match their personality traits!

For more information on The Complete Book of Baby Names, please visit the Sourcebooks website.