I had a difficult time determing which version was being reviewed in many of these reviews, so I am specifically reviewing the version that is illustrated by Anna Bond. This is a great version to use with younger kids- it has larger print and illustrations on almost every page. If you want to purchase accompanying audio to listen with, just buy the unabridged version and it should be a match.
My original purchase of Kindle's "Alice in Wonderland" a few years ago, the cover shown in the store was exactly like the book I had as a child, along with the same original illustrations. Then I discovered that after I had it in my library for a while, it wasn't what I bought! It was inexpensive, so I looked again in the store...guess what? You can't judge a book by it's cover. Even Amazon can't do it! This review will turn up, as others I've read for any book with the same title, or a variation...Alice's Adventure in Wonderland or "Adventures" , Alice in Wonderland, The Complete Adventures of Alice in Wonderland!!!!!! Egad! I've got 3 or 4 different editions, and can't seem to move to the trash, delete, dip in pieces AAUGH!!!
The Cheshire Cat. Down the rabbit hole. Mad hatter. Curiouser and curiouser. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!
Even if you have never read "Alice in Wonderland," some part of its charmingly nonsensical story has probably slipped into your head over the years. Lewis Carroll's classic fantasy tale is a dreamlike adventure that breezily eschews plot, character development and any kind of logic... and between his cleverly nonsensical writing ("I daresay it's a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror") and surrealist adventures, it is absolutely perfect that way. How many books can say that?
A bored young girl named Alice is by a riverbank when a White Rabbit runs by, fretting, "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!" and checking the watch from his waistcoat. Unsurprisingly, Alice pursues the rabbit down a rabbit-hole... and ends up floating down a deep tunnel to a strange place full of locked doors. There's also a cake and a little bottle with labels instructing you to eat or drink them, which cause Alice to either shrink or grow exponentially.
As she continues pursuing the rabbit (who seems to think she's someone named Mary Ann), Alice quickly discovers that Wonderland is a place where logic and reason have very, very little influence -- talking animals in a Caucus-race, a hookah-smoking Caterpillar, even more bizarre growth potions, a grinning cat, the Duchess and her indestructible pig-baby, eternal tea-time with the March Hare and the Mad Hatter (plus the Dormouse), and finally the court of the Queen and King of Hearts.
"Alice in Wonderland" is one of those rare books that actually is more enjoyable and readable because it's pure nonsense, without more than a shred of plot or even proper narrative structure. The entire story is essentially Alice wandering from one wacky scenario to another in Wonderland, meeting more violently weird people with every stop and finding herself entangled in all sorts of surreal situations. It doesn't really lead anywhere, or come from anywhere.
And yet, this works perfectly -- it's all about nonsense, and a coherent plot or developed characters would get in the way of that. Never has such a perfect depiction of a weird dream been turned into fiction, especially since Alice regards everything that happens with a sort of perplexed detachment. Even though NOTHING in Wonderland makes sense (vanishing cats, talking animals, arguing playing-cards painting roses, the Hatter convinced that it is six o'clock all day every day), she addresses everything with a sense of bemused internal logic ("I've had nothing yet, so I can't take more").
And Carroll festoons this wacky little tale with puns ("We called his Tortoise because he taught us"), odd snatches of mutilated poetry ("Twinkle, twinkle, little bat/how I wonder what you're at") and tangled snarls of eccentric logic that only works if you're technically insane (so... flamingoes are like mustard?). This keeps the plotless story as sparkling and swift-moving as a mountain stream laced with LSD, so the mind never has a chance to get bored by Alice simply wandering around, growing and shrinking, and engaged in a string of conversations with loopy people.
"Alice in Wonderland" is a mad, mad, mad, mad experience -- and between Carroll's sparkling dialogue and enchantingly surreal story, it's also a lot of fun. Never a dull moment... except the wait to read "Through the Looking Glass."
This book is so full of fun and nonsensical chatter it will lighten up your day.
I bought this book because this is the 150th anniversary of "Alice In Wonderland." I read this book many times when I was a child. I went online to Amazon Books and found the copy I wanted. The book came right on time, beautiful cover, and paper cover. I put a book cover on the book right away.
The paper is heavy, easy for a small child to handle, good for adults to have as a keeper. The colored pictures are beautiful, vibrant colors, full of life to take a child and even a grown up into the wonderful world of Alice. A charming book full of beautiful pictures and drawings of whimsical animals and people cards. The wording is exactly as it was when Lewis Carroll wrote the story 150 years ago, no changes, nothing left out.
Ms Bond's Rifle Paper Co. has done a great job on this children's classic as do her illustrations and brightly colored designs. Before I bought the book, I looked into Amazon customers comments about different copies. This is the one I thought best for me.
Ms Bond has worked to put this beautiful "Alice in Wonderland" edition together in honor of her son.
The "It was all a dream" ending is as soul-crushing as it is for any fantasy story! What can one do to improve Lewis Carroll's ending? I thought. Alice doesn't DO much, the main focus is on her intellectual ability, and when she does do physical actions it's seen by other characters. Alice does appear to have a disability. I have Cerebral Palsy, and I spend time daydreaming about doing stuff abled-bodied people can do and am very smart. The pomes being repeated that were based on real poems means Alice is consciously integrating them into her dream like I do today with popular characters and celebrities. Most of the stuff done in Wonderland is simple, day-to-day activities. Alice dreams of swimming, Having a race, going to a tea party, learning a dance, playing a sport, (Croquet) playing fetch with a dog, talking to people, all given a delightfully bizarre spin by Lewis Carroll, giving more credence to my theory. Lewis Carroll didn't have the opportunity to think about his story this way, and if you didn't you're NOT a horrible person, you just made the same assumption I made when I saw the (incomplete) Disney version when I was a kid. The paradox is she has physical abilities, but we don't KNOW if Alice has them because she's dreaming for all but 2 and 1/2 pages. It gives the ending meaning, anyway.
I really wanted to like this--the original illustrations are beautifully reproduced--but bizzarely, half the books are italicized in their entirety, making them pretty much unreadable. If this were fixed, I'd give this 5 stars.