Sense & Sensibility: Little Miss Austen (BabyLit), by Jennifer Adams – A Review

Sense and Sensibility Babylit Primer by Jennifer Adams 2013 x 250From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:

Board books are a brilliant concept. A child’s first book sized for their little hands printed on cardboard pages that are practically un-rippable, and, it doubles as a teething ring for toddlers. Add to that a Jane Austen theme and you are on your way to creating the next literati in the world.

In 2011, Jennifer Adams introduced us to Pride & Prejudice BabyLit, her first Little Miss Austen board book. It was a big hit. She has now created a cottage industry out of board books inspired by classic literature for very young readers including: Jane Eyre, Moby Dick, The Hounds of Baskerville to name a few! Each one is exquisitely illustrated by Allison Oliver and handsomely published by Gibbs Smith, who excel at gift books and illustrated editions.

Sense & Sensibility: Little Miss Austen (BabyLit) is a beautiful package with a clever theme. On the front cover we find the image of Jane Austen’s two heroines Marianne and Elinor Dashwood. Anyone who has read the original book, or seen any of the popular movie adaptations, will recognize the two divergent sisters and understand the irony that they have been chosen to represent an opposites primer. The fact that Marianne is impulsive and overly-romantic and Elinor stoic and even-tempered will matter not to toddlers or kindergartners. It is the adult that is buying the book. They will connect with the association and want to teach their child about it too. After-all, you can never start too early with the education of Janeites.

SandS Little Miss Austen image 2 x 200 SandS Little Miss Austen image 1 x 200

The book has eleven illustrations of opposites helping the child learn the differences between big Norland Park and little Barton Cottage, happy Mr. Willoughby and sad Colonel Brandon and single Marianne and Elinor and then married, symbolically standing on top of their own wedding cakes with their bride grooms by their side. While the choices in Sense & Sensibility do not relate to the story as directly as they did in the Pride & Prejudice BabyLit counting primer, I still found the illustrations charming and the concept interesting and creative.

The BabyLit series is a fabulous way to introduce your budding scholar to the charms of  literary classics, and ultimately introduce them to Jane Austen. I highly recommend them.

4 out of 5 Regency Stars

Sense & Sensibility: Little Miss Austen (BabyLit), by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Alison Oliver
Gibbs Smith (2013) 22 pages
Board book ISBN: 978-1423631705
Digital eBook ISBN: 978-1423631712

Cover image and illustrations courtesy of Gibbs Smith © 2013; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2014, Austenprose

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received one review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. We only review or recommend products we have read or used and believe will be a good match for our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

6 thoughts on “Sense & Sensibility: Little Miss Austen (BabyLit), by Jennifer Adams – A Review

  1. Yes, It is so cute, make me want all set of that little beauty picture books myself, too bad I don’t have grant-kids of my own, my niece all grow-up now, I like all things about Jane Austen book and her little things she used.

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  2. I purchased the Little Miss Austen Pride and Prejudice for my nieces and they loved the counting and the fun pictures. It is a great way to introduce little children to literature–and they can’t ruin the book! Everyone wins.

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  3. I purchased both books for my granddaughter. My daughter laughed when Sense and Sensibility showed up in the pile of books in Tessa’s room. She knows my obsession with JA and JAFF! I am hoping to steer Tessa in the right direction.

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  4. I have the P&P and my daughters both loved it! I’ve even give copies of it to my friends when they had babies. I really want to get the Baskervilles one too, just for myself for fun even though my kids have pretty well outgrown board books.

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