Beauty, Art, Music in Literature Board Books Books Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Reading Themes

The Beauty Of Board Books With A Nod To Classic Lit

Little Master Tolstoy and Little Master Hoffmann

Myra here.

I know about these BabyLit books for awhile now, and have always been intrigued by them. When I chanced upon several in our library, I made sure I borrowed as many as I possibly could. While I got around five titles, only two fit our current reading theme, one being a fashion primer, and the other a dancing primer – perfect for our #BeautyArtMusicInBooks until end of the year.


Anna Karenina: A Fashion Primer

(Little Master Tolstoy: A BabyLit Book)

Written by Jennifer Adams Art by Alison Oliver
Published by Gibbs Smith (2013)
ISBN: 1423634837 (ISBN13: 9781423634836). 

Borrowed from the Jurong West PublicLibrary. Book photos taken by me.

Small confession. I have yet to read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. This exquisitely-crafted board book, however, has solidified my intention to pick up the tome of a book soonest. One thing that needs to be clarified, though, is that this board book is not meant to provide the plot, an outline, or even a summary of the classic tale from Russia.

It simply makes use of certain elements from the story – in this book, the fashion used at the time – alongside the notable characters from the novel to highlight accessories, clothing, shoes, hairstyle – just to cite a few.

There are also a few, simple quotes, ostensibly culled from the original novel – and quite accessible even to very young readers. There is also a seek and find aspect to the book that I found to be quite appealing, and would undoubtedly work with children.

Then there is also the way the entire book is packaged and designed, the colour contrasts, the typography, the Russian icons that are never too overwhelming but keenly evident. These are perfect books to share with mothers who have very young children.


The Nutcracker: A Dancing Primer

(Little Master Hoffmann: A BabyLit Book)

Written by Jennifer Adams Art by Alison Oliver
Published by Gibbs Smith (2017)
ISBN: 1423647483 (ISBN13: 9781423647485). 

Borrowed from the Jurong West PublicLibrary. Book photos taken by me.

For parents with very young children who are into movement, spinning, and dancing – this book is a must-find and a must-buy.

Evidently, Adams and Oliver have created something magical in these books – as they seem to never run out of brilliant ideas. This dance primer is not only a celebration of classic ballet:

it also highlights the many colours, the diversity of dance and its infinite variations:

This must be one of my favourites from the five BabyLit books that I borrowed.

If you haven’t experienced this series yet, you are missing out on a lot. Find them. They will make terrific gifts this Christmas.


#LitWorld2018GB Update: Both author and illustrator are from the USA.

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

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