Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Say It's Not So -- Jane Austin for Infants and Toddlers?

     I almost missed the article in Publishers Weekly. As they write, "The first two titles in the new Baby Lit board book series from Gibbs Smith will introduce classic writers to the youngest readers -- newborns to three-year olds -- with the publication of Little Miss Austen: Pride & Prejudice and Master Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet.
     Think that's bad enough? I just read that advanced orders reached 12,000 copies. 12,000 copies. That's more than most children's books reach once they are in print. They are already planning their second printing.
     I don't understand. There are such fascinating books geared for these babies of ours -- books with plot lines the children can actually follow!
     Gibbs Smith and Suzanne Taylor hint at the reason why these books may be selling so well: "...great introduction for very small children and...parents who may not have read the classics before." Okay. I guess if you are going to spend so much time reading to your children, perhaps you should get something out of it, too.
     After all, how long will stories about baby duck and kitties hold most adults' attention?