If you've been trying to read your little one Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick or some other literary tome before bed, I'm sure you've reached the conundrum that yes, it does help put them to sleep, but it's not doing much more for them in terms of education. A new book series by twin brothers Jack and Holman Wang called Cozy Classics provides a wonderful solution to this problem.
Cozy Classics is a board book series that presents classic literary tales through 12 child-friendly words paired with 12 needle-felted illustrations. From the Cozy Classics website:
Cozy Classics uses a simple one word/one image format to help babies and toddlers build vocabulary and learn everyday concepts such as body parts, emotions, animals, relationships, actions, and opposites. However, Cozy Classics organizes everyday words in a more unique way: through story. By putting words in the context of a story, our books help children find further meaning through a growing sense of narrative.
A brief synopsis of the stories is on the on the back of each book and there are extended summaries online so that parents can have a refresher and, as children get older, expand on the stories. The website also provides some choice quotations from each novel, which the Wang brothers hope will eventually lead to reading whole passages to the child and ultimately to the child reading the classic themselves. However, the creators make the important note that "there's no right or wrong way" to read these books, and parents and children alike can create their own narratives based on the word/picture combinations.
Jack Wang said he and his brother created the series "to revitalize the genre of the baby word books by injecting a sense of narrative and fun for the parent" and that, in doing so, " hope to foster in children a lifelong love of reading and literature.”
Cozy Classics has already published Pride and Prejudice and Moby Dick, and will release versions of Les Miserables and War and Peace in the spring. The series looks absolutely charming and I love its mission! I am excited to get hold of a Cozy Classic and check it out for myself.