Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Interview with Jennifer Adams, author of the BabyLit Series
Want to learn more about the authors of the BabyLit series? I previously reviewed Jane Eyre and Alice in Wonderland, two board books for babies and interviewed Jennifer Adams. You can read the interview below:
What inspired you to write a series of board books based on adult classics such as Jane Eyre, Alice in Wonderland, Dracula, and A Christmas Carol?
I wrote a book called Remarkably Jane: Notable Quotations on Jane Austen, which was a nonfiction gift book for adults that was a great collection of what other famous writers had to say about Austen. Then I wrote a book called Y is for Yorick: A Slightly Irreverent ABC Book for Grown-ups that was a fun take on Shakespearean characters and the plays. I was talking to my editor about what else we could do with Shakespeare and Austen for a modern audience, since they are so well loved and such perennial classics. The idea of BabyLit was born.
How do you and the artist (Alison Oliver) decide which elements of the books to include in the illustrations?
Alison is a dream illustrator to work with! She is very literate and reads all the originals carefully before we start. I make a lot of suggestions for illustrations, and she incorporates a lot of her own ideas too. For example, I suggested the little hidden bird that appears in each of the illustrations in Little Miss Bronte: Jane Eyre; she added all the adorable dialogue in the marriage proposal illustration in Little Miss Austen: Pride and Prejudice.
What have some of the reactions to the books been so far?
People have absolutely loved the books, which has been really gratifying. Parents Magazine named Little Master Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet one of the best children’s books of 2011, and they have nominated Little Master Dickens: A Christmas Carol as one of the best children’s books of 2012. Every once in a while you get a naysayer that says “Romeo and Juliet is not for babies! It’s a murder-suicide story!” or “The caterpillar in the Alice in Wonderland illustration is teal not blue! Oh no, you will scare your babies for life!” But I tend to get a huge kick out of those responses and they are about one in a thousand. The books have been overwhelmingly positively received.
Do you plan on writing more Baby Lit books in the future? Which books do you think you would tackle next?
Three books are slated for release next spring. Think of stormy weather on the moors, two sisters with very different temperaments, and a giant white whale. Can you guess what they are?
What is your favourite classic?
It’s always a toss up between Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird. Pride and Prejudice is so well-loved by me (and women everywhere) and I’ve read it more times than I can count. I think To Kill a Mockingbird is pretty much a perfect novel.
Thank you for sharing with us today!
About the author:
Jennifer Adams is the author of more than a dozen books, including all the books in the BabyLit series. She works as a senior editor at Quirk Books and lives in Philadelphia. Find out more at wordmusings.com. To see all the books in the BabyLit series, as well as tote bags, buttons, limited edition prints, and more, check out BabyLit.com.