Good news, bibliophiles! Your toddlers can now enjoy Alice in Wonderland and Jane Eyre, and not just as teething toys. Thanks to gorgeous illustrations and clever literary touches, you might enjoy this collection of amazing board books at bedtime even more than they do.
The BabyLit board books by Jennifer Adams are so fantastic that I want to keep them all for myself. Whether you’re learning colors with Alice in Wonderland or counting with Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, or Romeo & Juliet (as seen in our Baby Shower Gift Guide), the books work on a lot of levels and will delight bookish babes of all ages.
The illustrations by Sugar’s Allison Oliver are spectacular, stylish, colorful, and flat out joyous, with a childlike wonder that makes it hard not to smile.
When I look through the Little Miss Bronte board book of Jane Eyre: A Counting Primer, I’m struck by the way the colors communicate the moods of the actual book and how the artist includes a bird on every page in homage to one of the main themes of Charlotte Bronte’s classic work. I especially love how the items counted aren’t apples or balls; they’re important objects from the text that evoke scenes of the very adult story. From the eight drawings that show subjects like Adele, Mr. Rochester, and Pilot to the ten books in the library, this baby book is clearly working on a lot of levels.
The Little Master Carroll version of Alice in Wonderland: A Colors Primer, just released, is likewise delightful, with playfully mod illustrations that feature all of my favorite characters. I will admit that it’s probably not the strongest book to actually teach a baby colors, as the caterpillar is labeled blue while he’s clearly teal and the orange Cheshire Cat against a melon-colored background is hard to see. But you know what? I’m obsessed with Alice and would totally buy it anyway, if only to add to my own collection.
If I had a pregnant bibliophile buddy, I’d wrap up both of these books, along with a Cheshire Cat stuffy and a box of cookies labeled Eat Me, because some gifts are as much for mom as for baby. Besides, pretty things on the book shelf are good for the soul.