Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Penguin Popular Classics)

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9780140623369: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Penguin Popular Classics)

'I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,' wrote Dodgson, describing how Alice was conjured up one 'golden afternoon' in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. In the nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom, order is turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig; time is abandoned at a tea-party; and a chaotic game of chess makes a 7-year-old a Queen.

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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, together with 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 revelled 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, reproduced here, are inextricably tied to the well-loved story. (All ages)

Review:

"* "An 'Alice' for the new millennium, this book is a triumph of design and rare quality. Helen Oxenbury perfectly captures the dreamlike qualities suggested in Carroll's famous classic." The Guardian * "Fresh, modern and comic." The Sunday Times"

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