When you name your daughter Elizabeth, you feel responsible for educating her in the ways of Jane Austen from a young age. Thankfully, this is where BabyLit comes in. BabyLit produces board book versions of all of your favorite classics – from Pride and Prejudice to Les Miserables to Frankenstein to Romeo and Juliet – BabyLit has a baby book for them all.
We’ve got four or five of their books in our home and I love their cute, modern illustrations and their quirky take on each classic. Their classics are all written as primers, with very little of the actual story.
For example, Emma is an emotions primer, The Jungle Book is an animal primer, Jane Eyre is a counting primer and so on.
They’re great, visually stimulating, quick reads for babies but I often find myself wishing they had a bit more meat to them. With no real story to follow along, I already feel my two year old has outgrown most of ours. She still likes to look at the pictures but I get bored reading them to her and would rather read something a bit more engaging.
Enter, Goodnight Mr. Darcy.
Goodnight Mr. Darcy is Babylit’s entertaining parody of the bedtime classic, Goodnight Moon. It follows all of our favorite characters from Pride and Prejudice at the Netherfield Ball, mimicking the rhyming patterns and some of the color schemes and illustrations found in Margaret Wise’s classic Goodnight Moon.
As someone who’s not a big fan of Goodnight Moon (read “All my Issues with the ‘Goodnight Moon’ Bedroom” by the Ugly Volvo for a better understanding why – it makes me cry with laughter every time I read it), I find Goodnight Mr. Darcy a delightful alternative. Rather than reading about “a comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush” while flipping through far too much orangey-red, green and yellow, we instead find “…Mr. Darcy surprised by a pair of fine eyes and Jane with a blush and Mr. Bingley turned to mush and a gossiping mother and a father saying ‘hush.’”
It’s witty, it’s fun and I’d read it over Goodnight Moon any day.
Much like Goodnight Moon, the book’s series of goodnights make it a perfect bedtime story. The illustrations add more entertainment as we’re given views into some of the characters’ thoughts. We read “Goodnight fine eyes. Goodnight witty,” as Mr. Darcy daydreams of Elizabeth Bennet and later in the book we wish “Goodnight Mr. Bingley. Goodnight mush” to a love-struck Mr. Bingley.
Goodnight Mr. Darcy is a clever parody that I would recommend to anyone with young children and a love of Jane Austen.
It’s the kind of book both parent and child can enjoy.