The Amazing Baby Name Book: A (Possibly) Helpful and Slightly Amusing Guide from A to Z

Princeton Architectural. Sept. 2022. 175p. ISBN 9781648961090. $18.95. CHILD REARING
Best-selling novelist and essayist Ephron (One Sunday Morning) and her daughters Maia and Anna share hundreds of baby name ideas, from Abacus to Zuzu, in this attractive teal and orange book illustrated by Jennifer Bricking. Self-admittedly more whimsical than practical, this isn’t a typical baby naming book but rather a compendium of fun facts from history, culture, and literature that may appeal to fans of Ephron’s wit and writing style. (For instance, the book’s facts include that Chartreuse is a color named after a French liqueur made by monks, while Hialeah is a Muskogee word that means “pretty prairie.”) The book warns readers against cultural appropriation when naming their baby, but some of its names (e.g., Chief) might offend for exactly that reason. Sidebars list names made from initials alone and names beginning with I that the authors say should never come back into style.
VERDICT More of a trivia-style guide than a baby naming book; some readers may want to look elsewhere.
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