good english

to read makes our speaking English good.
Cozy Classics: Moby Dick - Jack Wang, Holman Wang Okay, first of all, the felted objects and photography in the Wangs' retelling of Moby Dick -- I read the digital version, but IRL it's a board book for babies -- are PERFECT. ADORABLE, CLEVER, BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT. I cannot say enough good things about them.

Telling the story of Moby-Dick in a baby-friendly way is a challenge, I suppose. Cozy Classics: Moby Dick uses twelve photographs, and pairs up a single word with each photograph. It can be confusing if you haven't read the classic text; I've never read Melville's version and have only a passing familiarity with the original tale. I could gather the gist of it by reading this board book, but who knows how accurate I was.

I do think the book, as a whole, could have benefited from having a unified theme in the words instead of trying to follow the original storyline; my 18-month-old could understand "boat" but there's a picture of an (ADORABLE) angry Ahab -- at least, that's who I think it is based on my sad half-knowledge -- that's been paired with the word "mad," which is a concept she really doesn't get yet. And "floating" didn't stand a chance. If all the words had been objects, it would have been smooth sailing (har har), but the mix of objects and emotions and action words (like "sail" and "find") is a little harder for her to grasp.

That wouldn't stop me from picking up a copy of this book, though. I'd probably just change the words as I read it, to something more concrete for the little ones. It'd be worth it. The felting! The photography! AAAH SO CUTE.


(three-and-half stars)

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