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April 12, 2012

Review: The BabyLit® Series by Jennifer Adams Makes Me Wish My Boys Were Still Wee

There are many things now available to today’s parents of young children that make me wish my boys were still wee. The choice of educational, yet fun and even geeky, products currently available is overwhelming. The BabyLit® series of board books, written by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Alison Oliver and published by Gibbs Smith, are each examples of something I wish was available when my children were around one-year-old.

There are four books in this series: Little Miss Austen Pride & Prejudice, Little Master Shakespeare Romeo & Juliet, Little Miss Brontë Jane Eyre, and Little Master Carroll Alice In Wonderland. The Little Miss books teach counting and the Little Master books are colours primers. Not only will these books teach your toddler how to count from 1 – 10, and learn a variety of colours, but they also introduce your children to other vocabulary, such as: cat, candles, chalkboards, caterpillar, and so much more. But the added vocabulary is a bonus to these books’ main function, and that is to teach counting and colours.

You may be asking yourself, why choose these books instead of the many other books that do the same thing? I asked myself that question, and more, when I was asked if I wanted to receive copies of Little Master Carroll and Little Miss Brontë. There are a lot of reasons. I am so very happy that I accepted the review offer so that I could learn these reasons for myself.

One reason is that not only will the books engage your young child with the exquisite artwork, but they will also engage the parent who may well be bored, like I was when my children were small, with the formulaic and mundane presentation of similar books. Even reading Sesame Street board books to my boys was a task I did not look forward to.

Excerpt from Little Master Carroll Alice In Wonderland. Written by Jennifer Adams. Illustrated by Alison Oliver

Looking through Little Master Carroll Alice In Wonderful pulled me through a wormhole that dropped me off to my very early days when I was mesmerised by the movie and by having the book read to me. The wormhole then pushed me forward in time to when I was beyond excited when we finally had to read the book in grade school. Every thing from the blue caterpillar, to the purple bottle, to the brown hat, and more, was as exciting for me to look at as it would be for a small child, thanks to the vibrant colours and gorgeous illustrations.

Excerpt from Little Miss Brontë Jane Eyre. Written by Jennifer Adams. Illustrated by Alison Oliver

I am not a fan of Jane Eyre, however I am a fan of the era. Whereas illustrator Alison Oliver captured the bizarre essence of Alice In Wonderland, both with style of illustration and shades of the colours used, Alison managed to capture the essence of the period in which Jane Eyre was set. Jennifer managed, once again, to add extra teaching moments–1 governess, two trunks, all the way through to 10 books–with labelled insects, as one example, or the added words, “It is always dangerous to keep candles lit at night.” on the “3 candles” page.

By comparison, the Little Master Carroll book has added words on most illustrations, such as “Who are you?” on the blue caterpillar page, and “Don’t be late” on the white rabbit’s shirt.

These added words, indicative of the classic represented, are a wonderful present to the parent who read and loved that story. As the young child grows and begins to understand more about what these things represent, it could act as fuel to drive the child to want to explore the full classics. First by having the full books read to them, and then reading the books on their own.

And who knows, the reverse wormhole experience may happen for them. Whereas looking through Little Master Carroll pulled me back to when I was a wee child, when the current wees read the classics, they may be pulled back to the time when they were innocently introduced to these stories in an attempt to be taught colours and counting. It may be a far stretch, but I still remember some of my first board books, and my boys still remember some of theirs.

Obviously, I recommend these books to parents who have children at the 1+ mark, and to those who are looking for baby shower gifts.

You can purchase Little Master Carroll Alice In Wonderland on Amazon, Indigo Books & Music, Barnes & Noble, or wherever books are sold.

You can purchase Little Miss Brontë Jane Eyre on Amazon, Indigo Books & Music, Barnes & Noble, or wherever books are sold.

While you are shopping, don’t forget to check out Little Miss Austen Pride & Prejudice and Little Master Shakespeare Romeo & Juliet, both available in the iBookstore, Pride & Prejudice here and Romeo & Juliet here.

Also, a reminder that both Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver will be guests on my Geeky Pleasures Radio Show tomorrow night (April 13). You can read more about that here.


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About the Author

Jules
I never know what to say in this about me sections/bios. I am a mother, geek, gamer, tech enthusiast, radio personality, actor, artist, dancer, crafter, writer, music fanatic, science fiction nut, lover of the great outdoors, and so much more.




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