I have started to weed the children’s collection this week starting with the board books. I was surprised to see that the circulation numbers are good for this type of book. The collection features very typical board books focusing on counting, colors, and very simple stories.
And then I read a front-page story in the Sunday, October 27th, issue of the NYT entitled “A Library of Classics, Edited for the Teething Set.” Publishers catering to parents and experts in the area of child-development have now expanded the range of board books. There are now available from various publishers the board book version of “Moby Dick,” “Les Miserables,” “Sense and Sensibility,” among others.
Since playing classical music to babies in the womb, teaching foreign languages to children at very young ages are now readily accepted why not “expose babies to fine art and literature,” says Linda Bubon, the owner of a Chicago bookstore called Women and Children First.
These board book versions of the classics do not try to explain the complicated plots of these stories. What they use, according to the article, is “Romeo and Juliet” or “Wuthering Heights” as a “springboard to explain counting, colors, or the concept of opposites.” And it seems that the idea has connected with parents because publishers have seen their sales rise steadily in this children’s book category.
As I went back and looked through our collection, I thought that our sampling of board books has stimulated and interested toddlers even though none of the titles were written by Shakespeare or Melville. But having said that maybe we should order two or three newer board books that approach learning for the little ones through the classics. What do you think?