Published: December 5th, 2013
Cozy Classics: Emma (Cozy Classics)
By: Jack Wang, Holman Wang
Simply Read Books
Give a kid a classic! Cozy Classics is the popular board book series that presents well-loved stories to children aged 0+ through twelve child-friendly words twelve needle-felted illustrations. Jane Austen's Emma is a romantic comedy about a young woman who makes mischief through matchmaking, and is one of the world's most beloved classics. Now you can share this classic with children of any age. www.mycozyclassics.com
What to say, what to say.....how much can I tell you about a board book that consists only of twelve pages/words/photo illustration-thingys? Well, I can tell you that it was absolutely hilarious to read this as an adult! I adored the felt puppet-tastic illustrations! They were so well-staged, which I suppose is still difficult even though it does get around working with real people as models like it would in live-action photography. And while it cuts out the drawing aspect of art it still takes craftsmanship to stage one of these scenes, let alone twelve of them. The synopsis makes sure to tell you that this book is a romantic comedy. From the words chosen though, you don't really take away any romantic context unless you happen to know the story of Emma prior to reading this little slice of the original story. It introduces the reader to Emma and Knightley (lady and man, respectively), shows Emma taking Harriet from Mr. Martin (Goodbye). Then it goes to Emma trying to set Harriet up with Mr. Elton (Hello), Knightley questioning Emma about her matchmaking (Why), and Mr. Elton's proposal to Emma herself (the surprise on puppet Emma's face, alongside the word 'Surprise!' was especially amusing)! Next Frank Churchill (Weston? Can't remember) is seen carrying Harriet (Carry), in someone's house with her (Thanks), Emma and Frank laughing at poor old Miss Bates who looks dejected (Laugh).
Then the climax of the book happens when Knightley scolds Emma (Angry), Emma admits her wrong actions and they make up (Sorry). The last page has the word 'Happy', with Emma and Knightley arm-in-arm and Robert Martin behind them with Harriet. As someone who knows the story in detail, I have the nuances of the story already in my background knowledge and am able to interpret romantic intent. As such, I don't think a child would necessarily get it unless it was explained a little bit better by a parent/whoever is reading it to them or with them. The book hits the high points, but the thing with Miss Bates does seem pretty out of place based on the other eleven pages/words included. Also, when we saw the Frank puppet I thought it was Mr. Knightley and couldn't figure out why he looked different. It wasn't till his last page (laughing with Emma) that I made the connection. Other than that, this book was absolutely adorable. I am truly excited to read more in this series. I especially want to see how these guys manage to tell Les Miserables in only 12 words! I highly recommend it for anyone, even adults who don't have kids to use as a reason to read these books - you don't need the justification! :)
First thoughts: OH. MY. GOD. Absolutely hilarious! Only 12 words to describe this classic novel, accompanied by pictures of little dolls staged to act things out. I am in love and need to read all the others in this series. Oh, the possibilities! I wonder how in the ever-loving, HELL the people behind this managed to do Les Miserables or War & Peace! More on this later!
VERDICT: 4/5 Stars
*I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, Simply Read Books, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published December 5th, 2013.*