This is a most interesting volume – in fact, it’s two volumes – which will be much appreciated by very young Sherlockians, or their older Sherlockian parents who want to raise their kids the right way.
Mr. Ryan notes that he wrote the book “because I wanted to share my love of Holmes and Watson with my grandchildren” – a most noble reason. It will certainly engage younger readers. Each letter of the alphabet is represented with a short poem – sometimes contained on a single page with a colorful illustration, and sometimes spread to two pages with two pictures. The poems serve to introduce Holmes and Watson in short digestible bites with facts about them – Watson was once a soldier, for instance, and that he didn’t meet Holmes until they were older. Or that they live in Baker Street, and that Holmes uses a magnifying glass.
A brilliant idea was to sell two versions of the book – the full-color story book for reading to a child sitting on your lap, and also a coloring book – the exact same book, same size, same illustrations, same paging – but with all the color stripped out, to let the children take ownership and shading and personalizing the pictures as they wish.
There have been a number of Sherlock Holmes books for children over the years, ranging from simple stories to series adventures, often using The Baker Street Irregulars as characters. This goes in a different direction – an alphabet book to familiarize children with Holmes and Watson, and also allow them to contribute their own creativity as well. The former was a good idea. Adding the latter aspect is brilliant.
B is for Baker Street (ABC Book)