- Age Range: 8 - 11 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 6
- Lexile Measure: 890 (What's this?)
- Series: Bantam Classics
- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Bantam Classics; Reissue edition (June 1, 1984)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553213458
- ISBN-13: 978-0553213454
- Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3,789 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass (Bantam Classics) Paperback – May 1, 1984
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"And what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"
Taking to heart his charming, insatiably curious heroine's words, Lewis Carroll worked many long hours (days, months...) with illustrator Sir John Tenniel to create the most perfect pictures imaginable for what were to become instant classics: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. When thinking about Alice and her dreamy surrealistic adventures down the rabbit hole and behind the looking-glass, who can help picturing the golden-haired girl in her lilac dress and striped stockings, gazing up at the Cheshire Cat or arguing with Tweedledum and Tweedledee? Tenniel's drawings remained black and white for over 40 years until 1911, when eight prints in each book were hand colored. Now, for the first time, every remaining illustration has been colored, making these the first editions to feature all of the original art in full color. Traditionalists need not worry: colorist Diz Wallis colored proofs taken from Tenniel's carefully preserved woodblocks, remaining faithful to his original drawings. The beautiful tones of these new hardcover editions look as natural as can be; they could just as easily be from the 19th century. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Only Lewis Carroll has shown us the world upside down as a child sees it, and has made us laugh as children laugh.” —Virginia Woolf
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is actually spread across two books, here contained in a single volume. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" was first published in 1865 and relates the events that take place after young Alice falls asleep during her lessons and dreams of following a white rabbit down a rabbit hole. Alice encounters all manner of strange creatures in her dream, and finds herself in all sorts of curious predicaments where common sense fails and the nonsensical comes to be expected. There is no central, concrete storyline, but rather Alice moves rapidly from one bizarre situation to the next before waking once more and relating the whole adventure to her sister.
The second of the two books, "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There," appeared in 1871 and is very similar in nature to the first, though having a slightly different plot. Here Alice steps through an ordinary looking-glass one day, only to find herself in a world where, if you wish to get anywhere, you must walk in the opposite direction! Walking toward your desired destination only gets you further and further away. Also, interestingly, the land which Alice has entered is essentially a giant chessboard, and she must move through the different squares to reach the other side if she wishes to become a queen (which she does).
The characters Carroll created in these two stories are some of the most strikingly unique and unforgettable in the world of literature. Alice herself, based largely on Alice Liddell, a real-life child of whom Carroll was very fond, is a wonderful heroine that you can't help admiring. Throughout all of her backwards and upside-down adventures, she remains ever sensible and analytical, always trying to reason her way out of the most unreasonable situations. Other characters a reader won't soon forget include the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Dormouse, the Cheshire Cat, Bill the Lizard, the Caterpillar, the Duchess and her peppery cook, the aforementioned Queen of Hearts, the Mock Turtle, the Gryphon, the Red and White Queens, the talking flowers, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Sheep, Humpty Dumpty, and the Red and White Knights. Carroll also created many fascinating new creatures in his stories, including bread-and-butterflies, rocking-horseflies, "slithy toves," "mome raths" and more.
What I find most intriguing, as an adult reader of these books, is Carroll's brilliant use of wordplay and symbolism throughout the stories. Nearly everything has some sort of double meaning. There are hidden messags and subtle witticisms on every page. Carroll also includes several parodies of what were well-known songs and rhymes in England at the time. Young children will love the books for their fantastic qualities and imaginative inspiration, but most readers will not pick up on the many puns and jokes until they are a little older, so these stories really do have something to offer to anyone, no matter what age. I'd highly recommend the book to any reader - and be sure to get an edition that includes the original illustrations.
This review refers to the 2004 Barnes & Noble Classics printing, with introduction and notes by Tan Lin.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a bit higher than her reading level but gave her a push to extend herself.