So... you know how I'm always on the lookout for great books for my kids??? Who knew my focus would broaden to the Great Books for my baby...
My newest find is the board book series, Cozy Classics, by brothers Holman and Jack Wang. They're dads so, it's all good. They get it - a book, even one for a baby, has to hold the attention of the parents or else it's rubbish. Cozy Classics do just that because they are the classics that have stood the tests of time, trends, and literary treatises.
In these first two books of the series, the stories of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Herman Melville's Moby Dick Moby Dick are told in just 12 words each. (Trust me, it works.) The real genius though, is in the needle felted illustrations that are a unique combination of adorable and artistic. Lighting, scenery, facial expressions, accessories - it's all there. Babies can't help but love them (or lick them, in Clare's case), and parents certainly won't enjoy them any less(though you'll probably have the necessary self control to withstand the temptation to taste the cardboard pages.) I dare you to find a mom or dad who can't get into these sweet baby classics! Who can resist living the adventure of Moby Dick or the romantic anticipation of Pride and Prejudice in a few cozy minutes on the couch with your baby curled up in your lap!
|(images from Cozy Classics Moby Dick and Pride and Prejudice, by Holman Wang and Jack Wang. |
Simply Read Books, 2012)
Classic stories to share with your kids? Yes, please. Handcrafted, delightful and well-done artwork - a testament to the fact that babies can appreciate, and in fact, deserve, real art? Absolutely. Holman Wang states, "Unlike Barney and Dora, Moby Dick’s Ishmael and Pride & Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennett are characters that children will never outgrow." Amen to that. The only downside to all this fabulousness is that even with Amazon Prime, you don't get your books for a couple of weeks. Patience. They will come. (and you can pre-order the other 2013 releases while you wait! I have my eye on Les Miserables, Oliver Twist, and Jane Eyre.)
Thank you, Mr.'s Wang for these unique and absolutely enjoyable works of art and for believing that even little ones deserve good literature! Your work enriches what so many of us parents already strive to do - introduce even our young young children to the best of what they have to look forward to - in literature and in life!
Further food for thought... my older kids like the books too! While I have no intention of reading the original Moby Dick with my children any time soon, now they at least know who Herman Melville, Ishmael, and Ahab are; they know of Ahab's obsession and its role in the fate of the Pequod. And occasionally you'll hear someone yell in a distant part of the house, "Have ye seen the Great White?!?! Thar she blows!" It's cool to have kids who get literary references that are (sadly) used with less frequency and relevance. Promote the classics! Start young!