Books 3 and 4 of the Baby Lit Board Books
By Jennifer Adams
Illustrated by Alison Oliver
Available now from Gibbs Smith
Why am I reviewing board books, you might ask? Because I was offered them for review and I had a nephew turning two on the seventh. (I gave them to him on the eighth as Easter presents, however.) I thought the books sounded like great fun and wanted to give them a chance.
Looking over them on my own, I thought they were a great package. The illustrations by Alison Oliver are irresistibly cute and the color palettes are terrific. I liked that LITTLE MISS BRONTE: JANE EYRE had quotations from the text sprinkled throughout. The illustrations for LITTLE MASTER CARROLL: ALICE IN WONDERLAND incorporated more details from the novel, but I missed the quotes.
My mom's reaction upon seeing the books: "Oh, those are two cute! They're great for lit types."
My sister's: "I'm going to need to read JANE EYRE."
My nephew ignored ALICE IN WONDERLAND: A COUNTING PRIMER at first. He preferred to carry JANE EYRE: A COUNTING PRIMER around, likely due to the moody blue cover. (He loves blue things.) Later, my four-year-old niece wanted me to read JANE EYRE to her. She enjoyed counting the objects as I read. Then she wanted me to read it to her again. Then she wanted to read it to me again. She struggled with some of the terms, so I got to explain to her what a 'governess' is.
That night she wanted me to read ALICE IN WONDERLAND for her bedtime story. Then she decided that she wanted to read it to me! Now, my niece is not literate. She can recognize letters but can't read words yet. But from the context of the illustrations, she was able to figure out the words on each page with almost no help from me. (We had a small debate over whether the caterpillar was blue or green.) Tonight, my nephew played around with JANE EYRE more and my niece wanted me to read it to her again. I think they enjoy the books!
If you buy these primers, don't expect a plot summary. They're color and number books using characters and objects from classic novels. If the kids are interested it's a good chance for you to introduce the story to them. For the adults, they're slightly more interesting than the usual numbers/colors book and much prettier. I'm pretty impressed and intend to buy the two preceding Baby Lit primers (ROMEO AND JULIET, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE) and the ones coming in September (DRACULA, A CHRISTMAS CAROL) for my niece and nephew as well.
My sister's reaction to me buying the others? "Do it. The usual learning books are so boring."