Little Miss Brontë: Jane Eyre A BabyLit Counting Primer. Jennifer Adams. Illustrations by Alison Oliver. 2012. Gibbs Smith. 22 pages.
“Little Miss Brontë: Jane Eyre A Babylit Counting Primer” by Jennifer Adams doesn’t seek to retell the original story for little readers. Instead, it takes key concepts (e.g. books or drawings) and uses these to help encourage counting. While children are focused on the number of objects on each page, adult readers familiar with the story instead remember Jane Eyre, a fiercely independent woman who loved literature and was skilled at drawing.
The illustrations by Alison Oliver are simple but absolutely beautiful and evocative of the gothic romance genre with moody purples and blues. The quotations (e.g. “it is always dangerous to keep a candle lit at night”) really tie this counting primer to Charlotte Brontë’s original novel for the adult reader. The nod to the fire that destroys Thornfield but ultimately readjusts the balance of power within Jane’s relationship with Mr Rochester is nothing more than three purple candles for young readers.
While this classic is often seen as a book for girls, I was excited to share it with ThisBoy and I wasn’t disappointed. Our copy is getting pretty well-loved around the edges as it is one of ThisBoy’s favourite books from the BabyLit range and often goes out with us in his toy bag. He loves counting right now and so this book gives him the opportunity to happily count the lovely pictures on each page.
About the Author
Jennifer Adams is the author of more than forty books. Her bestselling BabyLit board books introduce young children to the world of classic literature and have sold 1.5 million copies. In addition to her range of picture books for children inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven”, her new series of board books My Little Cities includes London and New York, with Paris and San Francisco coming in Fall 2017.
Mum’s Score: 5 out of 5
For an English Literature postgraduate, there is enough of a nod to Brontë’s original novel to make this simple counting primer a joy to read.
ThisBoy’s Score: 5 out of 5
In addition to counting the various objects, ThisBoy enjoys hunting for the hidden bird on every page of this beautifully illustrated book.