Imagine being a child and snuggling up close to one of your parents for a bedtime story. You’re thrilled by the fun illustrations and the playful prose you’re hearing. Then, all of a sudden, your mom or dad reads your name. Any child would be overjoyed and feel so special to find that their name also belonged to a character in a children’s book! Expecting parents, doesn’t that seem like a heartwarming prospect? Of course, it does. We decided to wax nostalgic and look back at some of the most beloved children’s book characters for baby name inspiration for your little boy.
Luckily, because children’s books are intrinsically amusing, there is no shortage of exciting names to pull from. We’re going to do our best to steer clear of names like Babar, but we hope some of the names we recommend surprise and inspire you. Pulled right from the illustrated pages, here are 25 baby names for boys inspired by beloved children’s books.
For any kid who’s had a day full of fits and starts, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is extremely relatable (actually, this is true for most parents too). As adults, we say “just one of those days” and perhaps we’re actually remembering poor Alexander and his series of setbacks. The name Alexander has Greek origins and means “defender of man.”
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is a charming classic about family and love. Sylvester, a very cute donkey, gets scared by a lion and ends up being turned into a rock. Kids love being in the know about Sylvester’s state as a rock. It’s a cute one that children really enjoy. The name Sylvester has Latin origins and means “wooded” or “wild.”
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is a beloved children’s story by Roald Dahl that’s got just enough creepiness to keep a kid engaged. While there are many memorable characters in this story, none tops good old Charlie. The name Charlie has Old German roots and means “free man.”
The cutest little guy, Stuart the mouse from Stuart Little is a great reason to choose this name. The name Stuart has French origins and means “guardian.”
The Story of Ferdinand features everyone’s favorite lover-not-a-fighter, the bull Ferdinand. Ferdinand would much rather spend his days smelling the roses than fighting and honestly, who can argue with that? The name Ferdinand has German origins and means “peace” or “protection.”
Nate the Great is a beloved series about a detective, Nate and his dog Sludge who love solving crimes and eating pancakes. The name Nate is a shortened form of Nathan with Hebrew origins that means “to give.”
The One and Only Ivan tells the story of Ivan, a silverback gorilla who’s not treated very well in captivity at a mall. Through his art, he’s able to start a movement that leads to the facility being closed and relocating to a much more comfortable zoo. Ivan is such an inspiring character with a fantastic name. The name Ivan has Slavic origins and means “God is gracious.”
Where the Wild Things Are written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak is one of the most beloved children’s books ever. The story of Max escaping to an imaginary island full of beasts has captivated children since the 1960s. The name Max has a casual appeal. With Latin origins, this name means “the greatest.”
If you’re a fan of the magical adventures of Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts and beyond, go ahead and consider naming your little boy Harry. Children love the Harry Potter novels and a name like Harry destines your son to greatness. The name Harry is a medieval form of Henry and means “home-ruler.”
When your little boy gets a bit older, he might enjoy reading the dystopian young adult novel, The Giver. It follows a 12-year-old boy named Jonas who embarks on a journey that sees him attempt to escape the rigid confines of the society around him. Jonas is a very attractive name that has Hebrew and Greek origins and means “dove” or “sign.”
Foster and his older sister, Portia adventure around a bog that once was called Tarrigo Lake. The siblings are charmed with the stories and inhabitants of Gone-Away Lake. First published in 1957, this children’s novel captures the power of the imagination and childhood Summer exploring. The name Foster has English origins and means “forest worker.”
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery is a weird and wonderful novel (narrated by the family dog, Harold). The Monroe family adopts a rabbit that they find at the movie theater. The other family pets, the aforementioned Harold and Chester the cat don’t know what to make of the small creature at first. Chester becomes convinced the rabbit is a vampire! The very cute story features a boy named Toby and we love the name. Toby is the English form of Tobias and means “God is good.”
Dr. Seuss’s books are essential reading for kids. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street is one of our most beloved about a boy named Marco with a very big imagination. Marco has Latin origins and is the Italian preferred form of Marcus. The name means “warlike.”
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a darling book about siblings Claudia and Jamie Kincaid who run away from home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This very fun children’s story benefits from Jamie’s presence who Claudia only brought along because he’d saved all his money. The name Jamie is a handsome gender-neutral name that means “supplanter.”
Do you remember the Lyle the Crocodile series? The books featured a city-dwelling crocodile name Lyle who always looked out for his family, the Primms, and their neighbors. You don’t hear the name often, but Lyle is a fun one with French origins that means “island.”
The Phantom Tollbooth is all about a love for education and once children embrace it, they can enjoy school and excel at it. The main character, Milo and his journey through the Kingdom of Wisdom is a timeless tale that’s full of puns. The name Milo has German origins and means “merciful.”
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood was first published way back in 1883 and consisted of several illustrated episodes of the story of English outlaw, Robin Hood. The name Robin is a form of Robert and it means “fame bright.”
Marguerite Henry was a prolific writer who authored nearly 60 children’s books about horses and other animals. Born to Trot was published in 1950 and tells the story of a boy, Gibson who dreams of training Rosalind into being a champion racer. The name Gibson has English origins and means “Gibert’s son.”
The first Curious George story was published in 1941. The authors of the stories were a Jewish couple who escaped Paris in 1940 on bicycles they built themselves. They managed to bring with them the manuscript for Curious George. The name George has Greek origins and means “farmer.”
The Tale of Peter Rabbit has sold over 45 million copies making it one of the best-selling books of all time. Beatrix Potter first published the story in 1902. Peter is a mischievous little guy who loves getting in Mr. McGregor’s hair. The name Peter has Greek origins and means “stone.”
Brian Jacques‘ Redwall series is not going to be every kid’s cup of tea. But, these intricate Fantasy stories about anthropomorphic animals with swords have been beloved by kids since the late 1980s. Matthias the Warrior is the protagonist of the first novel and sticks around throughout the series. The name Matthias means “gift of God.”
Harold and the Purple Crayon is one of the cutest children’s stories ever! Harold, a 4-year-old uses the power of his purple crayon to create a world of his own just by drawing it. After he’s done drawing his own adventure, Harold draws his own home and then goes to sleep. There ended up being a total of seven books in this charming series. Harold can be traced back to Old Norse and means “army power.”
Ralph S. Mouse is a character featured in a trilogy of beloved Beverly Cleary novels about a mouse who can communicate with children. Ralph loves his independence and adventure and loves taking journies on his miniature motorcycle. The name Ralph means “counsel wolf.”
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Bridge to Terabithia is the story of two friends Leslie and Jesse who become friends and create a magical forest kingdom in their imaginations. While not the cheeriest work of children’s literature, Bridge to Terabithia is certainly one of the most memorable. Jesse prefers to go by Jess and we love both. The name means “gift of God.”
Go big or go home, right? Merlyn from T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone was so funny and mischievous especially when he turns Arthur into various animals. This beloved work of fiction is part of a series about the upbringing of King Arthur and young kids love it today. The name Merlyn has Welsh origins and means “sea fortress.”
There you have it! 25 names for boys inspired by some of the most popular and beloved children’s books of all time. If you’d love for your child to find his name in a story he’ll grow up reading, consider these impressive names.
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