Several publishers have begun offering pint-sized versions of literary classics like Old Man and the Sea, Moby Dick and War and Peace for infants, toddlers and primary grade readers.
For $6.99, Cozy Classics (http://www.mycozyclassics.com/books/) offers Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. These board books pair one word per page with one image. Moby Dick, for example is reduced to these 12 words: sailor, boat, captain, leg, mad, sail, find, whale, chase, smash, sink and float. The illustrations are photos of felt-made scenes, giving the books a fuzzy feel.
For $9.99 Baby Lit (https://babylit.com/collections/books/Classic-Lit) offers board books such as The Odyssey, Jayne Eyre and Anna Karenina. Anna Karenina? A novel about a married woman who has an affair, is ostracized by society, becomes paranoid and commits suicide? Yes, but the Baby Lit version focuses not on the story but on the fashions of 1876 St. Petersburg—ball gowns, parasols, gloves and military uniforms.
For $16.95 KinderGuides (https://www.kinderguides.com/) offers four classics (more to come) for children of six years old or older. The books, which are sanitized guides for the original novels, include Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 2001: A Space Odyssey, On the Road, and The Old Man and the Sea. Each book contains a summary of the original story, information about the author, key words and characters, and a quiz.
Remember Classics Illustrated? They were “comic books” or what we now call graphic novels. I read quite a few of these.
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So did I. And they helped boost my score on the NYS Regents Scholarship Exam.
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Reminds me of Classics Illustrated too. Those comic books helped increase our knowledge base of the classics before we took the high school entrance exams and later exams too, and I’m sure added many points to our scores! I loved them as a kid and they got me interested in reading the real books. Maybe these new books will do the same for the youngest generation.
I loved the Classics Illustrated too, and the Classics Illustrated got me interested in reading the real classics. Maybe these new books will do the same for the youngest generation of readers.