'I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,' wrote Dodgson, describing how Alice was conjured up one 'golden afternoon' in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. In the nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom, order is turned upside-down: a baby ...
'I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,' wrote Dodgson, describing how Alice was conjured up one 'golden afternoon' in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. In the nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom, order is turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig; time is abandoned at a tea-party; and, a chaotic game of chess makes 7-year-old a Queen.
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Written in 1865, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is an entertaining yet intellectually stimulating story for children. Alice falls into a hole and ends up in Wonderland. She encounters the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the grinning Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Mock Turtle, the Queen of Hearts, and several other memorable characters. Carroll makes excellent use of word play and challenging vocabulary in the story. Carroll's mathematical background is also evident in the narrative; he makes it a point to be precise with measurements and raises the question as to which side of a circle is the left or right side. Thus, there is much more to this story than just a girl exploring a magical place filled with characters that tell her what to do. Children will like the unique characters in the book and adults will enjoy the intellectually challenging vocabulary. In sum, this is a great classic of English literature.
Jun 10, 2007
Recipe for a Child Classic: A Journey into Wonderl
Mix together one screaming queen, a dash of grinning cat, a time pressed white rabbit, and a host of other equally, if no more, loony characters and what do you get? An entertaining portal into the imagination of Lewis Carroll called Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland. A white rabbit hurries by, and pulls a watch out, saying to itself, ?Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!? So begins Alice?s ?curiouser and curiouser? adventure into a bizarre, topsy-turvy land where she can?t ?keep the same size of ten minutes?. Every page is filled with the most entertaining nonsense as Alice faces many a dilemma. Finding her way, Alice almost drowns in her own tears, meets a caterpillar that doesn?t give straight answers, a cat whose smile disappears last, a mad tea party, an animal jury, and a crazy queen. Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland was actually written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a distinguished scholar, mathematician, and author who used the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll. It is similar to The Wizard of Oz in the fact that a girl is thrown into a journey, which ends with waking up from ?a curious dream?, and reminiscent of the trip into fairy world from Barrie?s Peter Pan. This fanciful fable, written for children and young adults, and was credited for liberating children?s literature from its didactic constraints, but can also be enjoyed by anyone who loves nonsense. Lewis Carroll?s work has been called many things, a political allegory, an oddity of Victorian children?s literature, even a reflection of modern clerical history. Possibly, as Carroll might have said, Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland is only an illusion, a fairy tale about the trial and tribulations of growing up- and down, and turned around- all seen through a child?s expert eyes.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-09-22 Readers will be astonished by every tableau in this pop-up extravaganza. The initial spread explodes into a surprisingly tall green forest, topped by billowing leafy shapes that resemble the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts. On the lawn below, in papery 3D, Alice scurries about while the White Rabbit checks his pocket watch. Along the left-hand border of the book, a series of narrow flaps present an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's text. These pages-within-pages feature pop-ups of a green bottle ("Drink me") that shrinks Alice, a cake that makes her a giant and Alice swimming in "the pool of tears that she had wept when she was nine feet high." Finally, an accordion-pleated square in the lower right corner expands into a long, vertical rabbit hole; through its circular window, Alice can be seen falling, as if into a well. And that's only the beginning. Subsequent stages of this moveable feast include a wiggly Alice grown too large for the White Rabbit's house; a Mad Tea Party with shining silver-foil tea service (the March Hare and Mad Hatter dunk the Dormouse in a teapot); and Alice waving her arms as the Queen and her court, transformed to a "pack of cards," arch over her head like a rainbow. Those who know the story can best negotiate this wonderland, for the narrative gets a bit lost in the visual dimensions. Sabuda, who also has adapted The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, borrows from the Tenniel illustrations, but pares them down and drenches them with violet, fuschia, gold and green hues. His paper engineering snaps solidly into place, and elements like the Cheshire Cat's unfolding face are both startling and beautiful; and the pack of cards rising up into the air will have the audience studying how Sabuda created the effect of scattering and tumbling. A Jabberwocky cheer of "O frabjous day! Calloo, callay!" seems appropriate for this salute to Carroll's classic. All ages. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1999-11-01 Zwerger's (The Wizard of Oz) captivating cover image of the Mad Tea-Party for this edition of Carroll's 1865 tale conveys the psychological tension of the interior artwork: Alice, at the head of an elongated table with a pristine white linen cloth, stares at the pocket watch that the March Hare is about to lower into his cup of tea. The Hare, bug-eyed, gazes out at readers while the Mad Hatter to his right, wearing a hat box, fixates on a black upturned chapeau (in lieu of a place setting), and the Dormouse between them sleeps. Across the table, an empty red mug is placed in front of a vacant green chair, and a teacup and saucer trimmed in red seems to be set for the reader. The painting conveys the way in which Zwerger brilliantly manages both to invite readers into the story and to keep them at a distance. From the heroine's first appearance, as she falls down a well while chasing the White Rabbit, with a glimpse of orderly bookshelves at the upper left corner, Zwerger demonstrates the many layers to Alice's journey: a cutaway view reveals that the bulk of the other "shelves" are the result of rats and insects tunneling underground. The supporting cast conveys the artist's nearly sardonic perspective. The contrary caterpillar, with six of its eight arms crossed, would be at home in New York's East Village: instead of a hookah it smokes a cigarette and sips red wine, yet?unlike Sir John Tenniel's sedated counterpart?this caterpillar is lucid, defiantly staring out at an Alice (and readers) absent from the scene. Zwerger's penetrating interpretation reinvents Carroll's situations and characters and demands a rereading of the text. All ages. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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