Last year I reviewed Epic Yarns, a trilogy of board books by brothers Jack and Holman Wang. Each book tells the story of the Star Wars saga using only twelve words and twelve adorably, masterfully felted scenes. Normally, this is the kind of board book I would pass on, but the Wang brothers are so creative with their vision and their felting and the miniature scenes are so intriguing that I couldn't resist. Now, Cozy Classics, the Wang's first series of board books is being reissued - three a year, along with two new board books a year - and they are just as good, if not better than the Epic Yarns.
The Wang brother, both dads, actually started this series as a way to teach words to their very young children. I bristled a little when I first heard about the Cozy Classics, but once I read them I fell in love. And, having spent the last two years working as an elementary school librarian and watching as fairy tales and Greek mythology grab the interest of my students over and over, I have come to believe that introducing kids to he classics - even if they are the adult classics - is actually a good thing. There is a reason that the classics are still read and loved, in part because, like fairy tales, their stories are timeless. And, if an author can pare down a classic and make it both palatable and comprehensible for kids while maintaining the universally appealing aspects of the story, why not?
I know it seems crazy to think that a classic work of literature can be distilled down to twelve words, but the Wang brothers really know their cannon. And, if you are intimately familiar with any of the classics they felt, I think you will agree with me.
Also, think of how fun it could be to read the Cozy Classics with your little ones and fill in bits of the stories that are appropriate and interesting to them? And, if you like this idea, be sure not to miss the fantastic Shrunken Treasures: Literary Classics, Short and Sweet by Scott Nash. Nash playfully illustrates nine classics from Western literature that have been sent through the "Versizer," a "marvel of squishy science" that transforms lengthy works into short, silly poems.
Here's a glimpse at more Cozy Classics
to come this year and next!
Source: Review Copy