I am 300 pages away from finishing Out, and 200 pages away from finishing The Master and Margarita, so with no book reviews looking likely to occur in the next few days I was looking for something quick and easy to review. I was totally unaware that any picture books by Jane Austen existed, so when I saw this little book amongst my book shop stock I was very intrigued.
It is a short story, which takes only a couple of minutes to read. It was written by Jane Austen when she was about 12-years-old, and tells the story of a young girl who falls in love with a hat and then proudly goes out in to the world.
In this edition the words are accompanied by beautiful pictures, reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, and I have to admit that these are the best part of the book. The words did nothing for me at all. If this had been written by anyone other than Jane Austen it wouldn’t have got anywhere near a printing press. The blurb states that:
I disagree. I don’t believe that children would enjoy this at all. My toddler might enjoy pointing to the frogs, but the words would be completely meaningless to them. I am impressed by the vocabulary of the twelve-year-old Jane Austen, but she still has a long way to go in the plot development area.
I can only imagine that this book would appeal to Jane Austen fanatics, who are keen to study the development of her language. Anyone else shouldn’t bother to read it, unless you happen to find it in the library.
(for the illustrations)
If one of your favourite authors releases a book for children do you ever buy it?