Alice in WonderlandBy Lewis Carroll


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Product ID: 1303

Description Review
Source of legend and lyric, reference and conjecture,
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is for most children
pure pleasure in prose. While adults try to decipher Lewis
Carroll’s putative use of complex mathematical codes in the
text, or debate his alleged use of opium, young readers simply
dive with Alice through the rabbit hole, pursuing “The
dream-child moving through a land / Of wonders wild and new.”
There they encounter the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, the
Mock Turtle, and the Mad Hatter, among a multitude of other
characters–extinct, fantastical, and commonplace creatures.
Alice journeys through this Wonderland, trying to fathom the
meaning of her strange experiences. But they turn out to be
“curiouser and curiouser,” seemingly without moral or sense.

For more than 130 years, children have reveled in the
delightfully non-moralistic, non-educational
virtues of this classic. In fact, at every turn, Alice’s new
companions scoff at her traditional education. The Mock Turtle,
for example, remarks that he took the “regular course” in
school: Reeling, Writhing, and branches of Arithmetic-Ambition,
Distraction, Uglification, and Derision. Carroll believed John
Tenniel’s illustrations were as important as his text.
Naturally, Carroll’s instincts were good; the masterful
drawings are inextricably tied to the well-loved story. (All
ages) –Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly
A clock-face grows like the daisies around it as the White
Rabbit hurries by; in the opening pages of the story, Browne
hints at his interpretive presence in Carroll’s world. A
burning key, a fish swimming through space, a green thread
winding its way through a cabinetful of strange objects, and
the artist makes it clear that this will be no ordinary Alice.
Thimbles and umbrellas bloom atop green stalks, Willy the chimp
races by, another thimble casts the shadow of a trophy, the
Caterpillar wears a smoking jacket covered with butterflies.
The Mad Hatter has a stack of his wares on his head, and wears
a terrible grimace; the tea party at which he resides displays
a table full of toylike objects and sweets, among which are
many surprising juxapositions. In short, the volume is so
consumed by the unexpected that readers may well find their
eyes leaving the text to pore over the pictures, replete with
jaunty details and stunning surreal images that grandly point
back in the direction of the written word. All ages.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library

Grade 4-8 Many fine artists have illustrated Alice in
Wonderland , notably Arthur Rackham (Heinemann, 1907; o.p.),
Ralph Steadman (Potter, 1973; o.p.), and Barry Moser
(University of California Pr, 1982). Like the others, Browne
utilizes Carroll’s full text, including the “Golden
Afternoon” poem and an author’s note about the Hatter’s
Riddle. As a tribute to Tenniel’s artistry, most of the best
illustrators echo his unforgettable drawings. Although some of
Browne’s illustrations borrow Tenniel’s composition, for
example the frog doorman and the fish messenger, Browne’s
hyper-realistic style and quirky details make them his own. He
ably avoids the Disneyesque trap that many full-color
illustrators fall into. His Alice, more ordinary and
child-like, meets all of the customary bizzare creatures,
including Browne’s signature gorilla. Readers will enjoy
discovering the odd details that Browne includes, such as the
fish mustache on the marble bust or the club-shaped beauty mark
and the pig-earred hat on the Duchess. Reillustrating a classic
like Alice in Wonderland is a challenge. Many have tried, but
only a few can match Lewis Carroll’s brilliance. Anthony Browne
is one of them. Karen K. Radtke, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.


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