The one where I read Dracula to the toddler
Dracula is one of my favourite novels. I’m a bit partial to a spot of vampiredom, truth be told, and there’s nothing like Bram Stoker’s 1897 introduction of the famous fangster as he moves to England from Transylvania. It’s like ‘Relocation, Relocation’ with stakes.
But as much as I love the novel in all it’s gothic horror magnificence I never expected to be reading it to a toddler. At almost four Curly Girl loves a good story, but I suspect the Count would scare the living daylights out of her and disrupt her zzzzzz’s (and mine) for a good few nights.
There IS someone brave enough to do it though - The Baby Lit series of board books from Gibbs Smith Publishing. Retailing at a RRP of £5.99 the range helps introduce counting and colours to little ones based on great works of literature. Nice idea. We were sent and for Curly Girl to review.
On first inspection the books are sturdy hardbacks and look like they’ll easily stand up to the robust hands and teeth of babies and toddlers. The images are beautiful and cleverly weave counting around elements of both stories. When you open Romeo and Juliet the first picture is Juliet at a balcony and the words ‘1 balcony’ on the opposite page. The next page has two intertwined love hearts for ‘2 loves’ and so on through the book up to number 9 (‘streets and bridges’). Apparently for the books that introduce colours a similar design applies – page one of Alice in Wonderland shows ‘white rabbit’, page two ‘back shoes’ as Alice goes down the rabbit hole head-first, page three ‘purple bottle’ (the ‘Drink Me’ bottle, as it happens), and so on. The titles include Pride & Prejudice, Wuthering Heights and Moby Dick too.
I was very much on the fence about Dracula as I think the images are just a little bit too scary for a toddler – ’6 tombstones’, ’8 rats’, ’9 coffins’ *gasp* – but Romeo and Juliet is lovely and an interesting way to introduce counting with the background of your favourite classic books. The books aren’t aimed at me though, so I read them to Curly Girl this morning while she was on the loo (aka the time she’ll be sitting still for a while). She was immediately taken with both books and wanted to know the story behind the pictures. Thankfully these were two stories that I knew well so I could retell them, albeit it in a very watered down form. Think: Prince Romeo and Princess Juliet love each other (although their parents argue a bit), go to a masked ball, write each other letters, get married and live happily ever after and a Prince called Dracula moves to London with his pet wolves and rats and lots of boxes, meets two girls and their friends and they all live happily ever after. Yep, that watered down.
I asked her which book she liked best and in no uncertain terms it was Dracula. I guess because the first picture is a scary looking castle on the top of a hill and she already associates that with another of her favourite books ‘Sir Charley Stinky Socks and the Terrible Secret’. She wasn’t bothered by the rats of wolves and liked the pictures. Just goes to show that I know nothing. Ok, so I guess I should have realised that already based on past experience, but hey, like the crocodiles I live in denial (sorry, over-fuelled with coffee today!).
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Disclaimer, terms and conditions and the all-important small print:
We were sent Dracula and Romeo and Juliet Baby Lit books to review and offered four books to give away. We received no other compensation and all opinions are mine and Curly Girl’s. This giveaway is open to UK residents aged 18 or over, one entry per household. There is no cash alternative. The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen, again at random using Rafflecopter. You DO NOT have to subscribe to Bod for tea or like my or follow me on as part of your entry.
Image courtesy of Africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net