Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-98), a.k.a. Lewis Carroll, was a lecturer in Mathematics at Oxford University when he wrote Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1871).
Gr 4-Up-McGraw provides a unique visual interpretation of Carroll's classic tale. As in Natasha Wing's Hippity Hop, Frog on Top (1994; o.p.) and Edward Lear's The New Vestments (1995; o.p., both S & S), his gouache illustrations are marked by bold, rich colors and a collage-style layout. His work suggests the influence of early 20th-century abstract, fantasy, and surrealist painters, as well as that of contemporary illustrator Brian Wildsmith. At times, the trip through Wonderland appears nightmarish. The images of Alice with the bottle of poison in front of her face and the executioner as a masked club card clutching an ax are particularly jarring. The story can be read on many levels. McGraw has chosen to portray the deeper, darker side of Alice's adventures. This is definitely a sophisticated and special interpretation that will appeal to a very limited, mature audience.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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. (Oct.)