Saturday, September 28, 2013

BabyLit: A Story-time Must


Story time is a wonderful occasion in the Darling home. As a parent, snuggling up with my children, the smell of their freshly washed heads, and the few moments a day when baby Mack will be still in my arms makes story time that much more cherished. We have several new additions to our family library that I would like to share with you! I'll start this week with a fabulous series of BabyLit books by Jennifer Adams.

My personal love for the classics and the whimsical and endearing illustrations by Alison Oliver are what initially drew me to Adams' books.  Upon further reading, I delighted in Adams' ability to take classic literature and pull out main characters, small elements and quotes from each novel or play and  incorporate them with the makings of a traditional children's opposites, weather, object recognition or counting book.

The idea of introducing my children to classic literature in a way that is creative and age appropriate inspired me to start our family's collection of BabyLit.  Our collection of Adams' series includes an array of counting primers: "Romeo & Juliet", "Jane Eyre" and "Pride & Prejudice". In these books, Adams and Oliver illustrate counting with numbers 1- 10 by using corresponding characters, quotes and objects relating back to each of the classic novels and play. An example of this would be number 4 in "Romeo and Juliet". "4 roses" is written on the left page and on the right is an illustration of 4 roses with the Shakespeare quote, "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet".

Also included in our collection are:

"Wuthering Heights: A Weather Primer" - This book is an introduction for babies and young children to the many adjectives can that be used to describe the weather. Olivers' illustrations are accompanied with a corresponding quote on each page from Emily Brontë's classic work. An example of this is in the book is the adjective "Stormy" and Oliver's illustration of Heathcliff in the storm with the quote, "The storm came rattling over the Heights in full fury".

"Sense & Sensibility: An Opposites Primer" - This book highlights objects, characters and places in opposition and introduces children to the opposites featured in Austen's novel. For example, on the first two pages, "BIG Norland Park" is compared to "LITTLE Baron Cottage". There are many more witty comparisons through out this primer.

"Moby Dick: An Ocean Primer" - Illustrator, Alison Olivers' illustrations are highlighted in this book. Babies and children can enjoy testing their knowledge of objects, animals, people and nature while also learning about sea life. Each page has a word relating back to Herman Melville's novel such as "Whale", "Ship" and "Harpoons" and they are individually accompanied by relevant illustrations to both the word and the story.


I value the range of enjoyment that Adams' series bring to both of our children who are nearly four years apart. Izzy, who typically sits in on her brother's bedtime stories, feels very proud of her ability to count and identify objects easily on her own.  Mack enjoys Oliver's illustrations and Adams' light pace of each book. He has taken to the rhythm of counting numbers and the excitement of pointing out familiar figures.

What I like most about our collection of BabyLit is that reading each book can lead to interesting discussions, especially with older children. Izzy was horrified to learn that harpoons were used to pierce whales and this lead to further discussion on how whales were hunted, killed and used for the benefit of man.

Our go-to children's gifts are almost always books, particularly because we find that sharing quiet moments with ones children is a gift for both the parent and the child.  Jennifer Adams' books make for an excellent gift and/or addition to your keepsake children's library.

We purchased our collection at Barnes and Noble, but you can go directly to the source and order your BabyLit from www.babylit.com

Happy reading and stay tuned for more darling book recommendations to come!


With love,
Mrs. Darling


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