Monday, December 19, 2016

Kid Classics

They're classic books for toddlers:
Along with “On the Road,” KinderGuides recently published picture book versions of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” and Truman Capote’s melancholy novella “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” (It skipped over the awkward question of whether Holly Golightly is a prostitute.) In one of its most ambitious and bizarre efforts, it released a cheerful take on Arthur C. Clarke’s opaque, mind-bending science fiction novel, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” an allegory about the evolution of human consciousness that many adult readers find impenetrable.

With their bright illustrations and breezy language — “Sal is ready for an adventure!” pretty much typifies the tone of “On the Road” — the books almost seem like parodies, or the perfect gag gift for the hipster parent who has everything. But the creators of the series, the graphic designer Melissa Medina and her husband, the writer Fredrik Colting, insist they aren’t joking. They’re already working on the next four titles in the series — versions of Paulo Coelho’s best-selling novel “The Alchemist,” Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” J. D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” (minus the rape charges, Ku Klux Klan rallies and racial slurs).

“The goal of all of this is to get them really psyched about these books now, so that they’ll want to read the originals later,” Ms. Medina said.

Though the premise of their project may strike some as absurd — does a first grader really need to be introduced to Kerouac or Capote? — kiddie lit has become a surprisingly lucrative and crowded niche. Anxious parents who played Mozart for their babies in utero and showed them Baby Einstein educational videos have snapped up children’s books that promise to turn their offspring into tiny literature lovers.
"My kid is a literary critic?"

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