Is it possible to improve on Jane Austen’s much-loved character, Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice? Yes, if it’s a handmade felt Elizabeth Bennet. In a board book for babies. If you haven’t yet discovered the sensational Cozy Classics, now’s the time, as two new titles have just been ‘crafted’.
Cozy Classics is a board book series for babies that presents great works of literature condensed into just twelve words, with each word appearing alongside a photograph of exquisitely crafted needle felted objects.
The books, created by brothers Jack and Holman Wang, began with Austen’s timeless Pride and Prejudice and Melville’s high-sea adventure, Moby Dick. So how do you take such tomes and translate the plot into just twelve single words? An image of Mr. Darcy on bended knee before Elizabeth Bennet is accompanied by the word ‘Yes?‘. On the next page, Elizabeth has her back to Mr Darcy with the word ‘No!’. Of course we know the happy ending – ‘Marry‘. Similarly, Moby Dick is summarised by “sailor, boat, captain, leg, mad, sail, find, whale, chase, smash, sink and float”.
Cozy Classics have recently published two new titles – Les Miserables and War and Peace. War and Peace will now be a cinch to knock off before bedtime – the epic has been reduced to “soldier, friends, girl, dance, goodbye, hug, horse, boom!, hurt, sleep, snow, love”. And yet, for all their apparent simplicity, those who have read the classics that the Wang brothers have based their books on, will appreciate that it is quite a task to capture a plot in just twelve words. Cozy Classics do it brilliantly and the illustrations are works of art – Les Miserables ‘poor‘, ‘sad‘, ‘garden‘ and ‘fire‘ sequence is testimony to that.
Make room in the library for Les Miserables and War and Peace and keep a little more shelf space for Oliver Twist and Jane Eyre, coming later this year. All of the Cozy Classics are available from Book Depository which delivers to Australia for free.