I know what you’re thinking, he did a post about board book classics a while ago and I did (just over a year ago) but I am not doing a second one because I’ve run out of time and can’t come up with an original post idea, at all!

No, I just loved those first Cozy Classics titles so much – and four new ones recently came across my desk for processing. It’s a win-win for all of us!

So, let’s quickly recap: board book classics are a recent trend in board books that basically take well known and loved literary classics and distills them into a form that can be introduced to babies and toddlers as part of their early language/literacy development. These titles seem to take two forms:

#1 The Cozy Classics approach, by Jack & Holman Wang – where classics are adapted by distilling the entire story down to twelve simple words with accompanying picture (beautifully handmade, needle-felted figures).

The new classics that have been added to our collection are:

Cozy Classics

Charles Dickens’s Great expectationsHerman Melville’s Moby DickJane Austen’s Pride and prejudiceLeo Tolstoy’s War and peace.

I personally love this approach because I can now say that I have read several classic titles without technically lying and each one only takes a minute to read! They are also, surprisingly, quietly funny for the adult reader. Oh, and the accompanying handcrafted images are adorable!

#2 The BabyLit books approach, by Jennifer Adams – where they take classic titles as the inspiration for a “primer” book – broadly speaking, a book that presents the most basic elements of any subject for first learning. So a “colour” primer, for example, will combine colour names/words with simple pictures that relate in some way to colours and the classic title chosen. 

Some examples we have:

BabyLit titles

Alice in Wonderland : a colors primerDracula : a counting primerFrankenstein : an anatomy primer; and Treasure Island : a shapes primer.

I hope this short list will inspire you and your young ‘uns to enjoy some of literature’s most celebrated classic titles together. Who knows, not only might it inspire a future love of reading in your child but rekindle a love for literature in yourself.

Read on, MacDuff!