Hardcover, pages vary
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
Reviewed using my own copies
It’s time to talk classics. Classics for babies, that is. Jennifer Adams has been doing just that over the last few years, putting out board books that tell classics stories such as Romeo & Juliet, Alice in Wonderland, Frankenstein, Sherlock, Jabberwocky and many others through different primers. On each cover it shows what the story is aiming to teach (colours primer, numbers primer, language primer, shape primer etc.) My favourite is the Jabberwocky: A Nonsense Primer.
I have to admit, back when I worked at Chapters, I would stalk the release of these board books. I don’t have kids, and my sisters have all grown too old for this target age, but I snatch them up for myself because they are just too adorable.
Whatever the classic story may be, Adams keeps the gist of the plot and uses it to depict basic learning blocks for babies. In Romeo & Juliet they learn how to count, in Alice in Wonderland they learn about colours and so on. The best part is that the illustrations add details that adults can pick up on. For example, the “White Rabbit” in Alice in Wonderland is shown wearing a shirt that says “Don’t Be Late” and the “5 friends” in Romeo and Juliet are titled with their names – Paris, Mercutio, Friar Lawrence, Tybalt and Nurse.
Really, they are just so clever, colourful and innventive. I have found they make a great keepsake, and, if you’re like me, a treat to add to my ever growing collection. Good luck buying just one!