1 of 2
Provided by Gibbs Smith
"Little Miss Austen: Pride & Prejudice" is a counting primer based on classic literature.

"LITTLE MISS AUSTEN: Pride & Prejudice" and "LITTLE MASTER SHAKESPEARE: Romeo & Juliet" by Jennifer Adams, illustrations by Alison Oliver, Gibbs Smith, 2011, $9.99 each

Classic literature has gone baby-friendly.

Baby Lit, a board book series from publisher Gibbs Smith, has published two new counting primers inspired by Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."

The books are being marketed as a "fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature."

"I love the classics," said Jennifer Adams, author of the primers. "Austen and Shakespeare are my favorites, so my editor and I decided it would be fun to do something totally fresh with them to introduce babies to the classics."

"Little Miss Austen: Pride & Prejudice" and "Little Master Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet" integrate elements of the well-known stories while counting from one to 10.

"Little Miss Austen," for example, features two rich gentlemen, five Bennet sisters and Mr. Darcy's salary of 10 thousand pounds per year.

"Little Master Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet" incorporates a few of the more well-known lines from the play, such as "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," from Juliet's famous soliloquy.

Both books include some numerical representations — such as horses, ball gowns, musicians and masks — that are not necessarily unique to the classics, "Romeo & Juliet" more so than "Pride & Prejudice."

Alison Oliver's brightly colored illustrations set the scene of the classic works, which, Adams says, is the whole purpose.

"It will just give them a taste at the earliest age possible so they get familiar so the classics are even more approachable when they get to the age when they can read the real text," Adams said.

If you go...

What: Jennifer Adams book signing

When: Thursday, Sept. 1, 7 p.m.

Where: 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com