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.