Sunday 17 August 2014

Baby Lit Primers by Jennifer Adams

As a fan of the classics, I love the idea of the Baby Lit Primers, however some of them work better than others.

Pride and Prejudice: A Counting Primer is one that works.

With the tag 'two rich gentlemen' & a facing a page featuring Mr Darcy & Mr Bingley - what's not to love!

We also see 1 English village, 4 marriage proposals, 5 sisters, 7 soldiers in uniform, 9 fancy ball gowns and a grand finale of £10 000 - I defy any P&P fan not to be excessively diverted!

Another favourite is Sherlock Holmes: A Sounds Primer.
Dark, gloomy illustrations & dramatic fonts move from hounds who howl, screeching gates, chiming clocks to leaves that rustle.

This one oozes atmosphere and gives many opportunities to have a lot of fun when reading aloud!

I also like Anna Karenina: A Fashion Primer for it's glam.
It features a look and find element - we see Anna's gown & are asked to find her fan, we see her buttons but have to find the bird.

It's a lush, visual delight from start to finish with the occasional quote throughout.

However Sense and Sensibility: An Opposites Primer is a hit and miss example.

It starts off fine with big Norland Park and little Barton Cottage, happy Willoughby & sad Colonel Brandon.

Even single Elinor & Marianne and married Elinor & Edward and married Marianne & Colonel Brandon is okay, but old & new clothes, empty & full chicken coop and the day & night pages seem like a stretch too far.

As for the bizarre Edward riding on his horse, over a bridge followed by Edward standing in the water, horseless, under the bridge?? Who knows? Perhaps piracy was the only option after all!

The success of these books relies strongly on the adult readers being able to recognise the links & passages being referenced - and that's where S&S falls down (as does Jane Eyre: A Counting Primer).

Jungle Book: An Animal Primer has a relevant quote on each page to introduce or describe each animal.

It's a colourful and fun way to meet all the Jungle Book creatures.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Camping Primer is full of quotes that reflect appropriate camping words like - river, friends, raft, fishing line, birds & lanterns.

Moby Dick: An Ocean Primer uses a mix of text styles.
Some pages have appropriate quotes for ship, captain, waves & stars. Some pages use speech bubbles or labels and some use onomatopoeia to great effect.

This is not the entire range of Baby Lit Primer books
(you can also find Romeo & Juliet: A Counting Primer, A Christmas Carol: A Colours Primer, Wuthering Heights: A Weather Primer, Dracula: A Counting Primer and brand new titles to the range The Wizard of Oz: A Colours Primer & Frankenstein: An Anatomy Primer), but I think you get the general idea!

For now, I will finish with my all time favourite - Jabberwocky: A Nonsense Primer.

Carrol's silly verse is made for reading aloud & this bite-sized version of the poem is just perfect for toddlers.

With all the made-up words, alliterations and bright, colourful illustrations - adult and child alike will be captivated by slithy toves, frumious bandersnatches & tum-tum trees!

Have you seen these books? Do you have a favourite?
Are these books for children...or are they really for their classic loving parents?

I'd love to see The Brother's Karamozov: A Philosophy Primer to help me get through my Classic's Club spin #5 book!

This post is part of Austen in August.


  1. I have only seen the Pride & Prejudice book, which I immediately had to have for myself. I had no idea there are so many, or such a range. I have to say though that my mind boggles a bit st Dracula!

  2. I've seen a couple of these books but had no idea that there was so many of them either. They do seem much more suited to the parents than the kids- although the Jabberwocky primer looks like fun for all.

  3. Had no idea these were available, never mind that I'm several decades away from childhood, they look fascinating!

    1. And we have some available at Brays Books in Balmain, Deb :-)

  4. I love these. I want to get them just b/c, even though I do not have any babies anymore.


This blog has now moved to Wordpress.
Please visit This Reading Life to comment.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.