Austen Adjacent

Exploring Jane Austen spinoffs one book at a time
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Cozy Classics: Pride and Prejudice

It’s hard to believe a beloved classic could be conveyed in only 12 words, but Jack and Holman Wang have done just that with their Cozy Classics series. These sturdy board books—including titles like “Moby Dick,” “Les Miserables” and “Pride and Prejudice”—feature 12 scenes illustrated with needle-felt characters, each accompanied by a single descriptive word.

These books are fun and well-crafted, a great way to either introduce children to the classics or delight a lifelong book lover. As you can imagine, each of the twelve words, simple on their own, hold the weight of the full text’s plot and context.

I particularly love that “muddy” is one of the words that makes the cut for Pride and Prejudice. The scene where Elizabeth makes a muddy trek to Netherfield to visit her ill sister (and gets chided for her messy state/defended by Darcy) is one of my favorite scenes in the novel.

It’s fun to think about applying this same practice to other books I read. What 12 words get at the heart of a book, conveying plot points and character development and emotions?

In addition to the text, the needle-felt illustrations and stagings are just beautiful. Needle-felting is not a technique I’m familiar with, but it seems like it takes serious time and dedication. You can watch a behind-the-scenes video from the Cozy Classics creators to get a closer look.

All in all, I think this book is adorable and would definitely recommend it for the young readers in your life… or any Janeite.