Give a Kid a Classic

Recently I was trying to explain the Cozy Classics concept to someone and they just weren't getting it. I was actually shocked. How can you not love this idea.  Great classics of literature reduced to 12 word board books and illustrated with beautiful needle-felted figures. I wish I'd thought of it! Not that I could needle-felt to save my life.

Holman and Jack Wang are the Vancouver-born brothers behind this fantastic series. I happen to share a publisher with them (Simply Read Books) so I was lucky enough to get an early peek at the the first two books they produced: Moby Dick and Pride and Prejudice. And it was pretty much besottedness at first sight.  They have since added Les Miserables and War and Peace and Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist are in the works.  There's no end to the wonderfulness in store.

Note: You can see Holman talk about the books on Global News here

Now, I'm not a huge proponent of flashcard parenting. I don't think babies need to learn their times tables before they learn to walk and I don't expect them to be able to write an essay about Jane Austen based on a board book. But there is absolutely nothing po-faced or enrichment-flavoured about the Cozy Classics approach. What there is in its place is something as simple as joy.

Reading these books it becomes apparent that you are never going to get all of Moby Dick into twelve words. Surprise! But what you can do is introduce some of the characters and elements of the story. What you can do is make Ishamel and the Pequod part of your child's lexicon and how can that be a bad thing?

Sharing the books you love with your little one is a huge part of parenting and Cozy Classics just shows us that this sharing can take myriad forms.

all images property Cozy Classics

It may seem that I am displaying bias in promoting books published by the same house as publishes my own picture books. But really, what Simply Read Books has always done well is occasionally produce books that are so beautiful that to see them is to want them. I'd just like as many people as possible to see them.

For your further browsing pleasure:

~a good article from Vancouver Sun on the brothers and the books
~more on this blog
~the Cozy Classics website
~Simply Read Books
~Cozy Classics on facebook


Kerry said…
I fully support your promotion of Simply Read, if only because it helps me discover their wonderful books!

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