The Bottom Line
- Attractive format
- Good selection of heritage names
- List of paired names
- Light-hearted approach
- Some names are a little far-out
- Binding is a little stiff
- List price $9.99
- 64 pages
- From ArtStone Press
- Approximately 5 inches square
Guide Review - The New Grandparents Name Book Fills a Niche
Lin Wellford is known to grandmother crafters for her series of books about painting on rocks. She has joined with her daughter, Skye Pifer, for this light-hearted treatise about a different subject--choosing grandparent names.
The book is mostly a list of names with very little exposition, although it does have a few bits of advice and some appropriate quotations. I like the small size. It's perfect for tucking into a larger gift or for carrying in a purse or pocket. The sprightly floral motif, carried out in a pretty shade of turquoise, suits the subject matter well. As for the names themselves, Wellford and Pifer list most of the standards and include a fairly thorough selection of "heritage names," while emphasizing that "you don't need to have any connection to a heritage name to make it your own." Where The New Grandparents Name Book does break a bit of new ground is in the exhaustive list of more modern choices:
- The chapter on Trendy Names includes Bamba, Foxy and Gidget for grandmothers and PopZ, Skipper and BigBop for grandfathers.
- The chapter on Playful Names includes Bunny, Gitchy and MoreMom for grandmothers and Babaloo, Podge and Jedi for grandfathers.
- The chapter on Personality and Interest-Based Names includes Patchit, Granola and Gimme for grandmothers and Coach, Popcycle and Skipper for grandfathers.
I also like the chapter on paired names, Perfect Pairs and Merry Matches. Go-Ma and Slo-Pa are one pair that can be reversed to Slo-Ma and GoPa if the personalities warrant it. Other unusual pairings include Howdy and Doody, Nano and Gigapop, Jazzy and Pops. The book's final chapter discusses creating custom names by morphing a grandparent name with a given name to come up with something like GranDan, PaulPaw or GrammySue.
The names proposed by Wellford and Pifer sometimes go beyond the boundaries of what grandparents of my acquaintance would actually choose. I can't imagine a grandmother choosing GeezerGirl or BeerMa, or a grandfather opting for Ammo or Grandoody. Some of these monikers could be the inventions of the grandchildren themselves, who have been known to modify names in a number of ways. Perhaps the others can be explained by the fact that becoming a grandparent sometimes brings about temporary insanity.