Last year my husband purchased this book from our local Walmart, which was a complete surprise to me, specifically because I had never seen a children's book cover decked out in dark colors. My son was 8 months at the time; he had just started to sit up unattended, his motor-skills for holding books had also yet to flourish. My little one struggled to hold this particular book, but he really started to warm-up to this title once he started crawling. Now that he is walking and nearly talking the need for a good counting book has been necessary.
About this book
Gibbs Smith was established in 1969 as a publishing company.Gibbs Smith makes a brand of children’s books called BabyLit (short for baby literature). BabyLit caters to infants and toddlers, so naturally, their products are in sizes that are perfect for little hands. The books I have found are board books - it should also be mentioned that I only have a handful of BabyLit books for infants. Today we will be focusing on Dracula: A BabyLit Counting Primer.
This book is a retelling of the classic Dracula story using simple images and words compiled into a 7x7 inch counting book (Amazon says it is 6.88 x 0.59 x 6.88, but don’t quote me on that). That’s right. They turned Dracula into a counting book! I have found many hidden details that could only be noticed after multiple read-throughs. Readers may wonder how BabyLit achieved this?
Upon first observation readers will notice dark shades of purple and black that stylistically cover the entire book - Dracula stands in the center extending his arms outwards. The words “Dracula” cover his entire body, turning the book to the back shows him standing in the same position, except his back is facing the audience. After opening to the book, the first two pages show the landscape of Transilvania, Dracula’s castle sits at the top of the hill. In large print, “1 castle” is visible. A wolf is howling next to the words. Further on the second page are two more wolfs howling and sitting on the same hill as the castle. The two pages are rich with dark shades of gray and black, the castle is bright red; this is a wonderful example of how the illustration, design, and simple wording have set the scene for the entire book.
I looked at the source material out of curiosity. This is when I discovered that minor details such as the wolfs, rats, and ships on various pages reference events in the original story. My love for this book grew even stronger. My son has shown his love for this book by chewing on the edges of the cover. Most nights he will seek to find this specific book, sometimes he has even tried to read the book aloud. I highly recommend this book for children 12 months and older.