When I think of the perfect book gift for a brand new baby, Les Miserables doesn’t exactly spring to mind. Or does it?
If you’ve got a literary family–or a lit lover raising the next generation of lit lovers–the Cozy Classics board books from Holman and Jack Wang may be the perfect, vaguely irreverent, and super erudite baby gift.
There are a Pride and Prejudice board book and an Emma board book should you want something a little light–and that’s as light as they go. Other titles include War and Peace, Moby Dick, and, if you dare, Les Miserables.
The needle felted photography that illustrates each page is just exquisite, and I love how the actual pages of the novels are incorporated in some of the illustrations.
Every story is told in 12 pictures, each punctuated with a single word to evoke emotions and the basics of the story. If you can imagine Moby Dick condensed into a dozen words, well, it is: Sailor. Boat. Captain. Leg. Mad. Sail. Find. Whale. Chase. Smash. Sink. Float.
(Chase. Smash. Whale. Mad. A little like Hulk goes fishing, right?)
These are not all happy-ending novels, and therefore not all happy-ending board books. You’ve got lots of Elmo options for that. But they are pretty clever. And honestly, as kids are able to read themselves, you can get into some awesome Socratic discussions about the meaning of emotions like sad or dark–and maybe the meaning of life. According to Victor Hugo. -Liz