Book Review: Cozy Classics by Jack and Holman Wang

How can board books even come close to teaching children about classic books like Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations and Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice? The answer is they don’t, but that’s not the point of the Cozy Classics series, which includes those two titles as well as Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.Cozy Classics Great Expectations cover image

The collection is written and illustrated with doll-like hand-felted figures by two brothers who hit upon the concept while searching for a way to teach their young children new words. Each two-page layout features a single word for parents to teach their infants. For instance, Great Expectations boils down to boy, help, old, pretty, cry, money, and a few others. Parents familiar with the story can explain more or not, as they gauge their children’s interest.

I could see, say, a parent reading the word “friends” from the first page of Pride & Prejudice, which shows two men, and creating a story for the child that mirrors the classic by saying, “two friends came to stay in a grand house in the English countryside.”Cozy Classic Pride & Prejudice illustration

Infants and children will appreciate lap time with mom and dad as they learn new words. Parents can enjoy thinking about their favorite pieces of classic literature in a new light. It’s all fun. And the popularity of the series means that many more titles are on the way to publication.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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