Oliver Twist – The Innocent Orphan
Fagin – The Career Criminal
Jack Dawkins – The Artful Dodger
Mr. Brownlow – The Kind Benefactor
Rose Maylie – The Loving Aunt
As soon as Oliver Twist is born, his mother dies, leaving him a poor, neglected orphan. At nine he is sent to a workhouse where he toils away picking oakum. One day, the other boys, hungry from being underfed, make Oliver ask for more gruel. The authorities are outraged and punish him, and soon he runs away.
In London, Oliver meets a boy named Jack, aka The Artful Dodger, who knows a man with a place to stay. The man turns out to be Fagin, a criminal who runs a gang of pickpockets. When Jack steals a handkerchief from a gentleman named Mr. Brownlow, Oliver is mistaken for the thief, but Mr. Brownlow refuses to press charges. Instead he takes care of Oliver, who bears a striking resemblance to someone he knows.
Eventually Oliver is brought back to Fagin and made to help with a burglary, but the burglary goes awry, and Oliver is found by the woman of the house, Rose. Young, kind, and beautiful, Rose takes a shine to Oliver, and they spend a happy summer together in the countryside. When Oliver discovers that Rose is really his mother’s younger sister, he realizes he has a family after all!
Cozy Classics uses a simple one word/one image format to help babies and toddlers build vocabulary and learn everyday concepts such as body parts, emotions, animals, relationships, actions, and opposites. However, Cozy Classics organizes everyday words in a more unique way: through story. By putting words in the context of a story, our books help children find further meaning through a growing sense of narrative.
As children get older, parents can expand on the stories in ever more elaborate ways. If you need a little help, just use the brief synopsis on the back of each book or the longer synopses (the Cozy version) above. But there’s no right or wrong way to read Cozy Classics. Use the words and images as prompts to invent stories of your own and encourage your children to do the same.
Parents can enliven their storytelling with quotations from the originals. Below are some of our favorites from Oliver Twist that go well with “the Cozy version.” Quotations can lead to whole passages until one day children are enthralled by the richest versions of all: the classics themselves.
Quotations from Oliver Twist
- Although I am not disposed to maintain that the being born in a workhouse, is in itself the most fortunate and enviable circumstance that can possibly befall a human being, I do mean to say that in this particular instance, it was the best thing for Oliver Twist that could by possibility have occurred.
- “Well! You have come here to be educated, and taught a useful trade,” said the red-faced gentleman in the high chair.
“So you’ll begin to pick oakum to-morrow morning at six o’clock,’ added the surly one in the white waistcoat.
- He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity: “Please, sir, I want some more.”
- He was alone in a strange place; and we all know how chilled and desolate the best of us will sometimes feel in such a situation. The boy had no friends to care for, or to care for him.
- “This is him, Fagin,” said Jack Dawkins; “my friend Oliver Twist.”
- What was Oliver’s horror and alarm as he stood a few paces off, looking on with his eyelids as wide open as they would possibly go, to see the Dodger plunge his hand into the old gentleman’s pocket, and draw from thence a handkerchief!
- Here, a bed was prepared, without loss of time, in which Mr. Brownlow saw his young charge carefully and comfortably deposited; and here, he was tended with a kindness and solicitude that knew no bounds.
- “So you wanted to get away, my dear, did you?” said Fagin… Oliver made no reply. But he watched the old man’s motions, and breathed quickly.
- It was a little lattice window, about five feet and a half above the ground, at the back of the house: which belonged to a scullery, or small brewing-place, at the end of the passage. The aperture was so small, that the inmates had probably not thought it worth while to defend it more securely; but it was large enough to admit a boy of Oliver’s size, nevertheless.
- “Is the poor creature much hurt?”
“Wounded desperate, miss.”
- “We are going into the country, and my aunt intends that you shall accompany us. The quiet place, the pure air, and all the pleasure and beauties of spring, will restore you in a few days.”
- I would paint her and her dead sister’s child happy in their love for one another, and passing whole hours together in picturing the friends whom they had so sadly lost…