I bought this book a while back because it was a newly illustrated version and I have never read this book! I am glad I did take the time to. I got a lot more out of the book than the Disney movie, for sure.
I think most of us are familiar with the general story line: Alice falls down the rabbit hole and each chapter marks an adventure. She grows and shrinks along the way and ends up at a trial with the King and Queen of Hearts. The story ends when she wakes up (spoiler alert!).
What surprised me most was the amount of violence and aggression in the book version of the story. Particularly the Duchess and the pig really gave me pause. There is a scene where the Duchess is nursing this little baby that turns into a pig (or always was a pig). Additionally, the suppression of the guinea pigs in the trial was another apropos moment– connecting politics of today with this very old story. In the trial, guinea pigs who make sound (clapping) are put into sacks that are tied shut and then are sat upon- sound familiar?
I had a lot of fun reading this and taking the time to get in a classic. One of the best things about the reading challenge for me is getting back to books that I should-coulda-woulda read and actually doing it.
Overall rating: It’s a classic, so I am giving a rare 5/5 also, the illustrations are really adorable in this new version.
2 comments on “Book #2: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll”
I love Alice in Wonderland! I actually had an Alice-themed birthday party when I was six, but my choice was to dress up as the White Rabbit. I think all the shrinking and expanding that Alice did frightened me too much to want to be her. I also remember being fascinated by the idea of time, and I was much happier to think of the way time can seem to shrink and expand, and then the notion that it was all a dream after all. There’s a great Alice resource, a book called The Annotated Alice, that has both the original illustrations and also references to all the obscure Victorianisms Carroll writes of, and to the mathematical concepts and long-forgotten poetry that he incorporated into the text. It’s fascinating to read what Carroll was referring to, but, when I got this book as a present at my Alice in Wonderland birthday party, I was terribly disappointed because I couldn’t read the story without all the footnotes getting in the way!
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I have to check out the annotated Alice! Thanks for the tip- I am totally with you on the time aspect of the story, too 🙂