Friday, August 15, 2008

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Lewis Carroll
pictures by Leonard Weisgard
Harper & Brothers, 1959

Sorry for my absence over the last couple of days, but getting the hell outta dodge was more time consuming than I thought it would be. That said, I saw this book in an antique mall and didn't buy it because ~ at the time ~ I thought $5 was too much (I'm so cheap!), but then I couldn't shake it and had to go back. Boy, am I glad I did. Stop me if I'm wrong here, but from what I can tell by the flaps, this was only the second version of Alice's adventures and the first copy with color illustrations. (I think we are all familiar with the famous original.)

I'm starting to get into reading more text heavy books to the boy anyway, and so far so good. It helps that he already kinda knows the story of Alice (thank you Disney), and the 24 full-color plates here are more than enough to get a feel for the characters. Weisgard's illustrations bring a new twist to this already wacky world, one I am sure Carroll would have been pleased with.

Such a wonderful book really, one that I probably didn't read enough of when I was wee. I was, however, obessed for a while with the '85 film Dreamchild which is about the real Alice ~ who Carroll wrote the story for ~ coming to America as an old woman to help celebrate Lewis Carroll's centenary. She has to come to terms with her relationship with the author ~ at times mildly creeping and awkwardly doting ~ but in the end, no matter what his intentions were with the young Ms. Alice Liddell, he gave her a gift that is indelible. Immortality. Anywho, I'm rambling....

Alice was beginning to get tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and having nothing to do; once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversation in it, "and what is the use of a book" thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"

My thoughts exactly.

Also by:
The Quiet Noisy Book
Little Chicken
The Little Island
Treasures to See
The Big Book of Nursery Tales
Sir Kevin of Devon
Cynthia and the Unicorn
The Mouse and the Lion

5 comments: said...

Great quote!!

Nicole said...

Can I confess that I have always (since as long as I can remember) Alice and every single inhabitant of Wonderland? When I was a kid, I had forced myself to read it a few times because I felt that it was a classic and that I should read it...but Alice always irritated me. Then again, I was the kind of kid who adored Pollyanna.

Anonymous said...

nicole, I know I'm way late leaving a comment here, but I was never an Alice fan either. Actually, I found her and the other characters both irritating and frightening. Um. . . but ditto Pollyanna.

Burgin Streetman said...

That is what is so cool about Dreamchild. In the movie Alice is pretty repulsed by the story... there are dream sequences (done by Jim henson's creature shop) where the characters are all creepy and weird and haunt her.

you should check it out.

i always loved the fact that it was a normal girl falling into a make believe. it always gave me hope.

diane Wallrich said...

Didn't mind Alice....very odd and interesting place....hated D
orothy, however...a child with no imagination or curiosity, and a whiner, to boot! >b>

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