Posted in Early Reader, Fiction, Toddler Reads

Vocabulary the Dickens Way – Cozy Classics’ Great Expectations

great_coverCozy Classics: Great Expectations, by Holman Wang and Jack Wang (March 2016, Chronicle Books), $9.95, ISBN: 9781452152431

Recommended for infant-3 years

The brothers behind one of my favorite board book series, Star Wars Yarns, is back with their Cozy Classics series, this time, tackling Charles Dickens. But seriously, don’t sweat it – they’re teaching our wee ones vocabulary, using their adorable felted yarn figures and words related to the Dickens’ tale. Words like “boy”, “help”, “manners”, and “old”, set against the backdrop of the Victorian epic, give extra feel to the words. I particularly love Pip – the “boy” – standing on the first page of the story. Parents will love it, kids will think it’s something cool (because it is). “greatexpec_1





greatexpec_2Miss Havisham illustrates the word “old”. With her tattered dress and her worn expression, young readers will see that old takes on many meanings – the dress is old, Miss Havisham is old, and are those cobwebs surrounding her in that picture? Explain that cobwebs form when something hasn’t been moved or dusted in a while.






Naturally, Estella is “pretty”. See Pip staring at her from behind the wall? That speaks volumes – she’s pretty, and Pip has a crush on her. greatexpec_3


There are about 12 illustrations and words in Cozy Classics: Great Expectations, with great words that aren’t sight words – it’s a real chance to expand kids’ vocabulary. The Wang brothers’ art is amazing – my Star Wars Yarns books are never on the shelf here at the library – and I think it’s time to bring some Cozy Classics to my home and work libraries.

I love this classics to teach concepts trend. BabyLit does it, Cozy Classics does it, and Mini Myths teaches kids Greek myths on a level that makes complete sense in today’s world. The books make for great storytimes, and you can get moms, dads, and caregivers to pick up a grown-up book, too – pair up your board books with their companion grown-up titles for a heck of a list!


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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