These books are marketed with the line “Give a kid a classic!” I adore literature, and when I got pregnant, I started a new book list in my brain: Books to Introduce to My Son One Day. I aspire to raise a reader, and these books are a wonderful way to get started on that goal.
The illustrations are stunning: needle-felted and wonderfully expressive. I wish they would mass-produce these little vignettes so I could buy them and put them on display in my home library. They’re that good. My 11-month-old son loved them, too: he leaned forward, reaching for the characters and interested by the lifelike expressions on their faces. (Also worth noting: the “smoke” is super impressive!)
For honesty’s sake: will my son remember (or, really, even understand) the plotline to Les Miserables or War and Peace just because I read him these books? Of course not. But it can’t hurt to plant the literary seed now. And also, it keeps me engaged. I loved looking for elements of Victor Hugo’s and Leo Tolstoy’s stories in the pages of these board books, and they sated my appetite (for now, at least) for sharing a literary classic with my son.
The illustrations in these two are bright and soft at the same time. The art is calming somehow, the sort of book you want to read while snuggled up with your child. (Though, to be honest, I almost always want to snuggle with my child.)
I loved Dog Comes Too. It’s descriptive, it demonstrates actions and cause and effect, and I love the repetition of the word “big”: “big jump,” “big swim,” etc. I could read this one over and over and not get bored, which is important because my son already has favorites, and sometimes those favorites need to be read three or four times before he’s satisfied.
Although it was okay, I wasn’t as thrilled with Cat Comes Too. It seemed silly and lacking in purpose to me on the first read-through, but I still appreciated the way it showed cause and effect. And when I read it again, I could tolerate it a little better. It just wasn’t an immediate favorite like the other three books featured in this post.
All in all: I’d say any and every one of these books would be a worthy addition to a child’s board book library.