Cozy Up with a Little One and a Board Book Based on Classic Literature

by Alena Rivers

Busy parents and caregivers of babies and toddlers may not be able to find the time to sit down with a cup of tea and a read a classic piece of literature such as Moby Dick or Pride and Prejudice but there may be another way to share the benefits of reading aloud to young children while also dipping into a literary classic for themselves.

The Butler Center recently received a small collection of Cozy Classics board books by brothers Jack and Holman Wang featuring classic novels told in an abbreviated 12 words and illustrated by hand-crafted felt figures depicting characters from the original stories. The first page in each board book poses felt figures against the backdrop of text from the first chapter of the board book’s original counterpart. The detailed craftwork of the felt figures is admirable and the one-word per two-page spread invites a very selective exploration of themes from the original novels. For example, in the Pride & Prejudice board book, the word “sick” accompanies an image of a character lying in bed with two others kneeling by her bedside.

While there is little doubt babies will miss the connection between many of the featured words and the actions depicted by their corresponding felt images, adults may enjoy the challenge of remembering the context for each literary scene. The unique concept behind these board books could certainly serve as a fun novelty for families that are familiar with the classic stories featured in the Cozy Classics series. These also make great selections for anyone who appreciates a simplified version of a lengthy classic work!

Visit the Butler Center to take a look!

Cozy Classics: Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations by Jack and Holman Wang (Chronicle, 2016).

Cozy Classics: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick by Jack and Holman Wang (Chronicle, 2016).

Cozy Classics: Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice by Jack and Holman Wang (Chronicle, 2016).

Cozy Classics: Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace by Jack and Holman Wang (Chronicle, 2016).