They’re called “board books.” By the name, you might not know to what I’m referring, but you’d recognize them. They’re the little square-shaped books for babies and young children that are made out of thick cardboard. The pages are more like slices of wood than pieces of paper. And now it seems, publishers are taking to these board books to introduce the literary classics to young children.
According to this article by The Montreal Gazette, BabyLit books are now featuring stories by Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet), Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre), and Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice). As Bernie Goedhart explains, publishers say this is a good for young children.
The series, we’re told on the back covers, “is a fashionable way to introduce your child to the world of classic literature.”
Is it though? Do children at the ripe old age of 3 really need to know about Romeo and Juliet and their willingness to die for each other? I understand getting the kids to read the classics early, but I hardly think waiting until they’re 10 and 11 years old is late. What do you guys think?