Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cozy Classics

Twelve words, twelve pictures, best Cliff Notes ever!  

Literary board books are nothing new.  Whether English-lit loving parents want to expose their children early or Baby Einstein pushers think this will raise their babies IQ, literary board books have really taken off.  But at the core, they are really more for the parents than children.

Pride and Prejudice is actually pretty funny.  The summarization turns it into a very simple story, but a sweet one none-the-less.  Mr. Darcy's initial rejection, a hopeful Yes? met with a cold No, is spot on.  The illustrations are also lovely little felted characters with more personality than you'd imagine.  (Some blogs might make a Kristen Stewart reference here, but I'm not going to do that.)

Moby Dick in twelve words is totally worth it!  Actually I wouldn't know having never read the real thing, but I'm going to claim that I did now.  The pictures here are very expressive, and that captain looks very mean.  What the text does not give you, the pictures do, and that's the beauty of illustrations, or felted characters.

There are two other Cozy Classic offerings according to Goodreads, War and Peace and Les Miserables.  I really wish that War and Peace had been around for my high school lit class, it would have made that book go much faster!  Plus, with the movie release of Les Mis, this could be a great Christmas present-two tickets to the movie, plus the board book if you get lost in the plot.

I'd recommend these as a gift to any new bibliophile parents.  They love seeing high literature for their baby and think it's funny that baby can read the classics.  Although they are going to be sorely disappointed when they see the real Moby Dick.  

Now for older kids, this could be a great jumping off point for a project.  Have them take a book, Newbery Medal book perhaps, and condense it down to 12 words and 12 pictures.  It's much harder than it looks, but it would be a great way to teach kids plot and summarization.  Boil down the book to the bare minimum and what do you have?  

I honestly love board books with a high-falutent flare.  Famous paintings, famous books, famous places all make for a board book that I will read.  As for little ones, their biggest concern is, will it fit in my mouth?  So, fancy or not, board books are just fun!

Happy Reading!

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