It is I suspect a testament to just how wonderful and awesome the Babylit series of baby board books is that this is not the first time they’ve been What We’re Reading, or even the second. Lucy wrote so beautifully about the Little Miss Austen and Little Miss Bronte books and I agreed totally with everything she said about them, as Elma chewed on the corners of our copies.
On a recent trip to the bookshop to buy birthday presents for a couple of Kitty’s friends I detoured to the baby section. Just to have a little look you understand. Yes, I know, who am I kidding, it’s well established fact that I cannot be safely left alone in a bookshop without coming home with a little something weighing down one arm, it’s just that I get to say it’s educational and for the benefit of the girls now, rather than merely “because it’s lovely and I wanted it”. And there on the shelf was my holy grail, the first Baby Lit book that I ever heard of, really wanted, and discovered that everyone else really wanted because it was sold out just about everywhere.
Pride and Prejudice. I reached out to pick it up, to grasp it tightly in my hand, to know that it was coming home with me. But as I did, the spine of its next door neighbour caught my eye.
It’s not the full text of the poem, but unlike the other Baby Lit books that simply take their titles as sources for a primer of some sort, be it numbers, sizes, the weather etc with varying degrees of adherence to the story behind it, this sticks more closely to the original than any of the others that I’ve seen. It’s a nonsense primer; made up entirely of quotes from Lewis Carroll’s original set off by the trademark vibrant illustrations.
As an abridged version it doesn’t really make any sort of sense in terms of reading it as a story, but then I’m not sure that the full version does either. And I think that’s actually rather a good thing.
I love that in reading all this gobbledegook to the girls it forces them to really think about it, to percolate on all of these funny words and to decide whether it’s all just nonsense, or whether they can find a meaning in it. It’s my bugbear with a lot of tv and films, that they have to be so fast paced, and with so little time to build up suspense, or just let the audience dig in to the plot and ponder, that it ends up totally forgettable.
Just as with the Cozy Classics Pride and Prejudice, I don’t read Little Master Carroll’s Jabberwocky to Elma so that she knows the full poem by the time she’s one, but in the hope that all this delicious complex language, “O frabjous day”, “my beamish boy”, and “all mimsy were the borogoves” becomes part of her lexicon, words to wallow in and enjoy.
And she certainly seems keen on it so far, as, it appears, is Minnie Mouse.
I don’t think I need two copies just yet, it’s just lovely to see them both enjoying the latest library addition.
Oh, and for the record, I also bought Pride and Prejudice.
Do go and say hi to Lucy and Kelle and see what they’ve been reading, and if you’ve seen something you think we all ought to be reading, please join in the linky.