Many parents dread the day when their son or daughter brings home homework they don’t want to help them with. One look at the worn library copy of Moby Dick, and memories come flooding back to parents, still scarred from their own high school experience with Herman Melville’s epic adventure.
Sorry, parents. But now one company is pushing up this date of dread from adolescence to toddlerdom.
This Groupon deal recently popped up on my computer screen.
BabyLit is a company that specializes in introducing classic writers to toddlers—in “a fashionable way.”
The books are beautiful and the idea of parents reading to their children is wonderful, but I’m curious as to how these books will wrap up works like Romeo and Juliet. Despite the play being about 13-year-olds (although friggin’ Tybalt was probably a college freshman at the University of Verona), the play deals with some serious shit. The modern-day equivalent would be the child-gangster film Bugsy Malone with Jodie Foster. I suppose if parents really wanted to explain Romeo and Juliet to their kids, they could sit them down in front of “Maury,” where 13-year-olds are getting it on all the time.
Other BabyLit books include Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, which seems like a cop-out (does War and Peace’s page length have your kid shaking in his booties?), and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, which depicts one of the most frustrating relationships in literary history (thanks, Mom and Dad, for introducing me to romantic heartbreak at age 2).
I suppose the big plus with all of these literary classics is that these kids are guaranteed to fall asleep.