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March 1, 2002
An edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll contains all of Arthur Rackham's original artwork from the 1907 edition (published after Sir John Tenniel's illustrations). Pen-and-inks dot the text; full-page paintings, such as one sepia-toned frame showing Alice, in a delicate rose-patterned dress, addressing the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, plus a sewn-in satin bookmark make this an elegant gift choice.
October 1, 2001
DeLoss McGraw's illustrations bring the magic of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to a younger audience, with abstract splashes of color that render the Caterpillar a bit less eerie and the Queen less terrifying than Sir John Tenniel's interpretation. One hallucinogenic image captures Alice awash in deep blue watercolor, her long legs rising in an ethereal haze as her head reaches the ceiling. A small green window and miniaturized chair accentuate her rapid growth.
September 1, 1988
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.
February 3, 2003
"An Alice accessible to all ages," wrote PW
in a starred review. "The villains here are more stoogelike than menacing, and the volume brims with the fun and frights of a visit to an amusement park. An ideal introduction to a lifelong favorite read." Ages 8-up.
Starred review from October 4, 1999
If Zwerger's Alice (reviewed above) is deliciously cryptic, Oxenbury's (Tom and Pippo books) brims with the fun and frights of a visit to an amusement park. In perhaps her most ambitious work to date, Oxenbury applies her finely honed instinct for a child's perspective to create an Alice accessible to all ages. With the opening scene of a tomboyish heroine slumped against her sister who is reading under a tree, the artist seems to answer Alice's first line: "What is the use of a book... without pictures or conversations?" Nearly every spread contains either a spot-line drawing or full-bleed full-color painting. The artist nods to Tenniel with her hilarious portrait of the waistcoated White Rabbit and even extends the metaphor of the "grin without a cat" with a quartet of watercolors as the Cheshire Cat begins to disappear--until only his grin remains. The villains here are more stoogelike than menacing, including the baby-throwing Duchess and the Queen of Hearts, and Oxenbury makes the most of such comic opportunities as the entangled powdered wigs of the Frog-Footman and Fish-Footman. A series of cleverly choreographed closing scenes shows Alice in the Queen's courtroom, pelted by the playing cards that, on the next spread, seem to have transformed into the falling leaves of the tree where Alice awakens and her sister gives her a kiss; a poignant parting shot of Alice's sister silhouetted at dusk under the tree, with sheep grazing in the field, acknowledges the shift in tone of Carroll's conclusion. An ideal first introduction to a lifelong favorite read. Ages 8-up.
December 1, 2003
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland gets another makeover in a new edition illustrated by Iassen Ghiuselev. Beginning with a gouache painting that combines elements from the entire story into one fantastical scene, Ghiuselev's illustrations continue by alternating seemingly gilded paintings of Alice interacting realistically with Mouse and Duck and Dodo, and burgundy-hued pencil drawings, all of which emphasize the dreamlike qualities of the text. This large-trim (9" x 13"), limited edition includes a bookmark.
Starred review from September 22, 2003
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.
February 29, 2016
Reader Reynolds buoyantly leads listeners down the rabbit hole and into the topsy-turvy world of Carroll’s Wonderland. When the young Alice follows a waistcoat-wearing rabbit holding a pocket watch, she finds herself in a fantastical world of talking mice, disappearing cats, hookah-smoking caterpillars, fish-headed footmen, and babies who turn into pigs. She shrinks smaller than a mouse and grows tall as a tree, participates in a mad tea party, plays croquet using flamingos for mallets, and runs afoul of the ill-tempered Queen of Hearts, whose cry of “Off with their heads!” seems to be the answer to most anything. It is a madcap, nonsensical entertainment, and Reynolds leaps into this tale’s telling with enthusiastic aplomb. Fully embracing the material, Reynolds delivers the author’s whimsical prose, poetry, and quirky characters with just the right touch of theatricality: bigger than life, but not completely over-the-top. It is a fine-tuned, enjoyable performance that allows the wonder of Wonderland to shine.
February 22, 2010
The classic and an equally transporting imagining of the life of Alice Liddell Hargreaves.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
, read by a full cast. BBC Audio
, two CDs, 2 hrs., $14.95 ISBN 978-1-60283-660-0
With strong performances from a stellar full cast, this dramatization of the beloved novel sends listeners tumbling down the rabbit hole and into a world of magic, mushrooms, anthropomorphic animals and adventure. Chasing the White Rabbit, growing and shrinking in size, and meeting a menagerie of oddballs—the dotty Mad Hatter, the lugubrious Mock Turtle, and the homicidal Queen of Hearts—Alice attempts to navigate the strange world without losing her head—literally and figuratively. With Sarah-Jane Holm as Alice, Roy Hudd as the Mad Hatter, and David Bamber as the White Rabbit—all of whom sound as if they're thoroughly enjoying themselves—the cast transports the listener into an alternative universe with perfectly scored incidental music and fantastic sound effects. An energetic and delightfully zany rendition of the classic.
October 1, 1989
What the publisher calls the ``ultimate'' edition is in reality simply another look at Carroll's story in a beautifully produced volume--with an unusual twist. Edens has compiled various illustrations to the text that were made between 1865 and 1933. He presents the work of more than 25 artists, including John Tenniel, Arthur Rackham, Peter Newell, Willy Pogany, Gertrude Kay and Margaret Tarrant. But the result is a disjointed book that is disorienting to read. Illustrations by different artists, in color and black-and-white, are juxtaposed more to the text than to each other, and their varying styles create an effect that is more chaotic than instructional. Artistic comparisons would have been facilitated by captioning the illustrations with the date and artist's name, but unfortunately these details are provided only as a listing at the end of the book. To Eden's credit, many of the illustrations have been long out of print and are a joy to behold. The book appears to be more of a commercial exercise than a new look at Alice. All ages.
January 1, 1996
wonderland revisited Spanish illustrator Angel Dominguez fills an unabridged edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with 75 watercolors, most of them closely packed with lush oversized flowers, strange creatures and winding vines reminiscent of Art Nouveau-often against bizarrely serene pastoral backgrounds. Exotic birds and animals, such as peacocks and zebras, wander through the picture frame. While the illustrations bring out the text's absurdity, pretty-in-pink Alice provides a counterpoint not of normalcy but of sentimentality.
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