Parenting Book Reviews

Table of Contents


Pre-pregnancy Books

Pregnancy Books

Nutrition in Pregnancy

Pregnancy for Fathers

Baby Name Books

Birth guidebooks

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

Infants & Toddlers


Sleep Problems

Child Rearing & Discipline

Preschool-aged children

Young school-aged children

Teenaged children

Learning disabilities and ADHD

Medical Information & Nutrition

Life Style Choices

Death and Children

Boys/Girls: "Gender" issues

Miscellaneous Books

Other Media

Sources & Acknowledgements

Paula Burch's Home Page

Baby Name Books

Please submit your own opinions!

Connie Lackhart Ellefson: The Melting Pot of Baby Names [sources]
--a marvelous list of names from many cultures around the world. Each section also offers a blurb on the cultural norms on naming the child. --Deantha

Cleveland Evans: Unusual and Most Common Baby Names. Paperback. 1992. isbn 0-45117069-5. Publications International, Lincolnwood, Illinois 60646 [sources for the 1998 edition]
A good standard. Cleveland Evans has frequently added a very interesting and helpful perspective while participating in name discussions on the newsgroup. Lists popularity of top 500 names as of 1990 (most books give the numbers only for the top 100). Includes 'translations' of names. --Paula Burch

Sue Browder: The New Age Baby Name Book. 1987. ISBN 0-89480-309-3. $6.96. [sources]
This has been around since the late 70's. Of course there are updated versions. It has an eclectic list of unusual names that combine cultures and values. [...] It is available almost anywhere you can find Beyond Jennifer and Jason and What to Name Your Baby. --Deantha

Patrick Hanks & Flavia Hodges: A Dictionary of First Names. Oxford University Press. 1993. ISBN 0-19-211651-7 [sources]
In some ways, the best! The introductory chapter gives the history of various trends in given names--exceedingly useful. The dictionary entries will lay to rest all sorts of misinformation, and give additional info that no other source includes. However, the alphabetical layout, with male and female names mixed, is not at all good for browsing. Use this in combination with a more popular style of book. Includes 'translations' of names. --Paula Burch

Teresa Norman: A World of Baby Names. 1996. Perigee books. [sources]
"I have a great book called the World of Baby Names that has sections on each major country, including Scotland, Wales, England, Sweden, Norway, etc....We found this book at Barnes and Noble, so maybe you can peruse it there. The name-thing is definitely a hard one, but enjoyable." --Carolyn White

Yvonne Navarro: First Name Reverse Dictionary: Given Names Listed By Meaning. 1993. $30. [sources]
[no review]

Meenal Atul Pandya and Rashmee Pandya-Bhanot: Pick a Pretty Indian Name for Your Baby. MeeRa Publishing. [sources incl. authors' website and amazon]
An extensive list of names used in India by the various cultures in India, including Hindu, Muslim and Christian. There are some absolutely GORGEOUS names in this book. --Deantha

Daniel Avram Richman: From Aaron to Zoe. 1993. ISBN 0-316-74444-1. Little, Brown & Co. US $10.95. [sources]
A huge ("trade") paperback. There are a few obvious mistakes, such as the claim that the old Latin/Irish name Una is Native American--even if it is, the story needs more info than that. Best feature: cross-referencing lists of names by meaning. Includes 'translations' of names. Popularities through 1990. This book is also available as the "Baby-namer!" program for dos & mac.--Paula Burch

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran: Beyond Jennifer & Jason. [sources]
Widely acclaimed as a classic, and often described as the best. I haven't read it myself. Be sure to get the most recent edition (1995 as of this writing). --Paula Burch

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran: Beyond Shannon and Sean
(Irish) [sources]

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran: Beyond Sarah and Sam
(Jewish) [sources]

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran: Beyond Charles and Diana
(English, of course) [sources]
[No reviews of these yet, but the mere fact that they exist is worth mentioning.] --Deantha

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran: The Last Word on First Names. ISBN 0-312-11748-5 pbk $9.95 US St Martin's Press, New York. 1995. [sources]
By the authors of Beyond Jennifer & Jason. Instead of translating the archaic meanings, this book gives the author's opinions on the names. Provides a useful overview of trends in naming, which is useful whether you want a trendy name, or want to avoid one. --Paula Burch

Lareina Rule: Name Your Baby.1986. [sources]
This is the favorite of all MY name books. It simply lists European language based names and their derivitives in other languages. Nothing fancy or unusual; just a good simple book on baby names. --Deantha

Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen: The Perfect Name for the Perfect Baby. 1997. [sources]
A lovely list of names; also addresses various cultures; lists names by meaning, culture and character; also lists names of saints, angels and movie stars, etc. Very nice name book. --Deantha

Julia Stewart: African Names. 1993, Citadel Press, ISBN 0-8065-1386-1. pbk, $9.95. [sources]
This looks excellent, thorough, & imaginative. Meanings & pronunciations. --Paula Burch

George R. Stewart.American Given Names: Their Origin and History in the Context of the English Language. Oxford University Press, New York. 1979. ISBN 0-19-502465-6. [sources for 1986 ed.]
Extremely interesting commentary on names, but limited by the publication date. Some of the names it dismisses as 'practically dead' have made a surprising comeback since this book's publication. --Paula Burch

Bruce & Vicki Lansky: The Best Baby Name Book in the Whole Wide World. 1982, Meadowbrook Press. ISBN 0-915668-17-8. [sources]
Not a bad book, but it doesn't live up to its name anymore--better books have been introduced since its publication date. The cover claims "over 10,000 girls' and boys' names (more than any other book)"--but now there are books with many more. Maybe it's not fair to hold it to the promises on the cover, though, and it really isn't all that bad. --Paula Burch

Bruce & Vicki Lansky: The Very Best Baby Name Book in the Whole Wide World. 1996. [sources]
[no review]

Janet Schwegel: The Baby Name Countdown. ISBN 1-55778-290-3. $9.95 pbk. 1990. [sources for 1997 ed.]
50,000+ names. Best feature: lists of 100 most popular names by region--including 8 regions of the US and Canada. --Paula Burch

next page...

Last updated: March 2, 2003