Most new parents want to provide the most sound educational background for their children. Introducing kids, babies and toddlers to books early and often has been proven to increase the long-term success of a child. A study published in the journal, Research on Social Stratification and Mobility, demonstrated that the number of books owned by families has a large influence on the educational and socio-economic success of the child.
The more books accessible to a child, the more likely the child is to succeed in education institutions and to attend college, even after accounting for other socio –economic factors, such as wealth.
That said, when my children were babies, I would often wonder what the result was of reading my daughter a board book that barely contained about a half dozen words. After all, aren’t we often advised to use language with babies, to talk to them often and frequently since it increases their vocabulary? Reading is an amazing way to go about getting the job done. Why then, were so many books for babies so stingy with words?
But, board books for babes need not always be simplistic. I had the pleasure of coming across the new board book, “Little Miss Brontë: Jane Eyre, A Counting Primer” over the weekend, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my discovery. As an avid reader, I loved Charlotte Brontë’s enduring tale of Jane Eyre, and the idea of a Brontë -inspired board book for infants made me elated.
“I have as much soul as you—and full as much heart,” Bronte wrote, and it’s almost as though we’re finally hearing this sentiment from expressed from our children. Jennifer Adams has focused in on an idea that should rightly be at the hands of babies everywhere—that of introducing literature to our youngest. With so many kids scarcely able to recount the plot of Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” it makes perfect sense to create a genre of books that teach about the great works.
With its inspired art from Alison Oliver, and its subtle references to Jane Eyre, this book is one that will engage the parent as much as the child. A depiction of “Thornfield Hall” for instance, or a quote from Bronte’s original, makes for a great starting point to sharing great literary classics with kids.
We hope the idea catches on. A kid initiated into the vastness of our rich literary history is one that is fortunate, indeed.