Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - Book 2 for Children's Day

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Illustrated by Robert Ingpen Copyright 2009
Sterling Books - Children's Fantasy
191 pages, incl. notes on the original Alice and two pages from the original, hand-illustrated edition

I read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass just under three years ago (for the Classics Challenge), so when this copy of Alice arrived, I wasn't sure what to do with it. Read it again? Give it to my sister-in-law? Pretend it didn't land on my doorstep unannounced? The one item worth noting about its arrival (and that of The Wizard of Oz, which arrived in the same envelope) is that when I handed the book to my husband he drew in a sharp breath of awe. Literally, he gasped as he flipped through it. My husband is seldom impressed with much of anything, so that tells you a little something about how beautiful the book is.

Still, I wasn't sure what to do about it, since I've already read and reviewed Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. It sat around for about a month and, in the end, I decided I don't want to reread Alice, right now. But, I did want to take a long, slow look at those illustrations. You can tell by the cover of the book that the illustrations are stunning. I took my time looking at the illustrations because they're absolutely gorgeous, delicate in touch but exploding with detail. I wish I could hand you the book to flip through. Because of the all-night cat med thing, I'm a little too tired to dig out the camera to photograph spreads but if you're looking for classics to give as a gift, seek out this version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, illustrated by Robert Ingpen. Near as I can tell, this only includes the first story, not Through the Looking Glass, which is a good thing in my view. Through the Looking Glass is baffling.

There is a very brief intro by Lewis Carroll, written in 1896 and illustrated with an image of Carroll reading to young Alice. And, there are notes on the original book (how it came to be written, published and turned into a hit that became a classic), along with a couple of pages from the hand-written version by Carroll, followed by notes by the illustrator.

This is a book worth owning, sniffing (it smells good; Sterling always seems to use very high-quality paper), hanging onto and passing down through the family. Highly recommended.

My thanks to Sterling Kids for the review book. This is Book #2 for Children's Day. Next up will be a couple of board books and I realized I have one other non-Sterling children's book to review.


  1. LOL. Sniffing...I thought I was one of the only ones that noticed that sometimes? =0)
    I too read "..through the looking glass" several years ago, however it was for a school summer reading list...enjoyed it, yes...remember all of it, not so much. Sounds like it might be time to dust off a copy for a reread.

  2. GMR,

    I love the smell of a high-quality book (and do confess to sometimes just opening them to inhale that lovely scent).

    I enjoyed both of the Alice stories, but Through the Looking Glass was just a bit too far out there for me. I liked it. I just didn't love it, you know?

  3. I'll admit it...I'm a book sniffer, too! :)

    I've long owned Alice in Wonderland but haven't read it. I'll look into getting this copy for The Girl (and me LOL) as the cover alone is stunning.

    Diary of an Eccentric


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