May 1, 2015

BabyLit Series by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver

I admit it.  I have an author crush on Jennifer Adams.  Her series of classic literature for babies is absolutely fantastic.  We are collecting ALL of these books for our library.  Not only are these fun and age-appropriate board books, but they are conversation starters for many of the themes presented in the original works.  As a life-long lover of reading, I have read each of these classics, and at first I couldn’t imagine how someone had condensed such complicated masterpieces into something a young child might understand.  Luckily, Adams doesn’t try to accomplish such a mighty feat.  Instead, she uses the title work to create a theme in which to set a simple lesson.  For example, Wuthering Heights teaches about weather with quotes from Bronte’s original.  For the “stormy” page, we read, “The storm came rattling over the Heights in full fury.”  In Moby-Dick, children learn ocean-themed vocabulary, such as “captain” and “whale,” but there’s no mention of the obsessive madness of the actual Ahab.  In Sense & Sensibility, we learn about opposites; in A Christmas Carol and Alice in Wonderland, it’s all about colors.  Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Dracula (which never uses the word vampire), and Romeo and Juliet are all about counting.  Alison Oliver’s artwork is detailed enough to help tell the “story” and pairs perfectly with the instructional theme of each book.  The series is simply wonderful.  I’m not sure who enjoys these books more – Zelda or her Mommy.

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