Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll
Illustrator:   John Tenniel 
For ages 8 to 12
HarperCollins, 1992   ISBN: 978-0688110871

Alice is quietly sitting on the riverbank with her sister. Her sister is reading a book which Alice is sure must be a very dull book on account of the fact that the book has no picture or conversations. Then Alice sees a white rabbit running past. This in itself is not all that odd. What is odd it that the rabbit is talking to itself. Alice has never seen a talking rabbit. Without stopping to think Alice sets off in hot pursuit and thus begins her extraordinary adventures.

Alice soon finds herself falling down a terribly long rabbit hole and from that time onwards, as Alice says, “curiouser and curiouser” things keep happening to her. Alice finds herself in situations where she keeps changes sizes; she goes for a swim in her own tears; she attends the most peculiar tea party; she meets a cat who keeps disappearing in the most peculiar way; and a queen threatens to cut off her head.

Though this story was originally written in the mid 1800’s, when the world was a very different place, it still has enormous appeal for readers of all ages. By filling his tale with all kinds of highly ridiculous and unlikely events Carroll showed the world that children’s literature did not have to be moralistic and pedantic. Instead it could be entertaining and amusing. In a way, Carroll paved the way for other writers, giving them permission to write books which children would enjoy and which would titillate the reader’s imagination and sense of fun.