War and Peace is now available as a board book, thanks to Jack and Holman Wang.
There are 12 pictures, not counting the cover, and a single word to go with each picture.
Soldier, friends, girl, dance, goodbye, hug, horse, boom, hurt, sleep, snow, love.
Each picture is a surprisingly expressive photograph of needle-felted people and objects. (See the video below.)
I tested this book with my neice, Elin, who stayed with me for a few days in the spring while her mother was out of state. Elin is two, and during those few days we read the book enough times that she was able to remember the words that went with most of the pages.
The press release says these books teach children “more than the same old numbers and colors: from emotions (Moby Dick’s Ahab is “mad”!) to social strata (Les Misérables’ Jean Valjean is “poor”!), the titles explore a rich vocabulary of words and themes that can’t be found in other titles in the baby board book genre.” I can’t deny that this is true.
“From a very young age, children fall in love with characters: Barney, Dora, Cinderella,” says Holman Wang. “The Cozy Classics books foster a love of characters that will ultimately lead to the classics themselves. Unlike Barney and Dora, Les Misérables’s Jean Valjean and Pride & Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennett are characters that children will never outgrow.”