Thursday, March 15, 2012

Little Miss Brontë JANE EYRE

An open letter to Jennifer Adams, and to Alison Oliver, who illustrated this board book:

Dear Jennifer and Alison,

I don't know either of you, but you have both sincerely made my day. I have purchased a copy of the book, subtitled "A Counting Primer", for my young niece. Not because I think she'll love it, although it is possible that she might, but because I expect that my brother will just about pee himself laughing over it, which totally makes it worth the money I paid for it (about $9, plus or minus).

You see, the text is really quite simple. (E.g., "One governess.") But there are a few places in the book with additional text as part of the illustration - like the reminder on the "Three Candles" page to not leave candles burning overnight. Or the quotes from the text of Jane Eyre on the "Nine Pearls" and "Ten Books" pages. And the illustrations are spot-on perfection. Alison Oliver uses a muted palette for this book, which is, interestingly enough, echoed in many of the Jane Eyre movie adaptations and/or book covers, as I discovered when using Google images to see if I could find the first two-page spread for you. (I couldn't - but you can "look inside this book" at Amazon and see the first two pages, albeit not side-by-side as they actually appear when you open the book.)

Kudos to the author and/or editor for coming up with this crazy idea, which is described as follows: "BablyLit(TM) is a fashionable way to introduce your child to the world of classic literature." Additional BabyLit titles include Little Miss Austen Pride & Prejudice: A Counting Primer, Little Master Carroll Alice in Wonderland: A Color Primer, and Little Master Shakespeare Romeo & Juliet: A Counting Primer.

And special kudos to the illustrator for the way her folk-artish illustrations make these books such a delight.

You can see internal spreads from Jane Eyre and Alice in Wonderland in Alison Oliver's blog post about these books. You can see spreads from Romeo and Juliet and Pride & Prejudice at this other of her posts. (And really, you want to see these. Trust me.)

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