Source of legend and lyric, reference and conjecture, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
is, for most children, pure pleasure in prose. While adults try to decipher Lewis Carroll's putative use of complex mathematical codes in the text, or debate his alleged use of opium, young readers simply dive with Alice through the rabbit hole, pursuing "The dream-child moving through a land / Of wonders wild and new". There they encounter the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, the Mock Turtle and the Mad Hatter, together with a multitude of other characters--extinct, fantastical and commonplace creatures. Alice journeys through this Wonderland, trying to fathom the meaning of her strange experiences. But they turn out to be "curiouser and curiouser", seemingly without moral or sense.
For more than 130 years, children have revelled in the delightfully non-moralistic, non-educational virtues of this classic. In fact, at every turn Alice's new companions scoff at her traditional education. The Mock Turtle, for example, remarks that he took the "regular course" in school: Reeling, Writhing and branches of Arithmetic--Ambition, Distraction, Uglification and Derision. Carroll believed John Tenniel's illustrations were as important as his text. Naturally, Carroll's instincts were good; the masterful drawings, reproduced here, are inextricably tied to the well-loved story. (All ages)
Fiona Shaw gives a wonderfully fresh reading of Carroll's classic tale, making his fantastical characters thoroughly believable through an impression of voices. Vivid sound effects together with music by Delius, Parry and Bruckner complete this delightful production" The Good Book Guide<br /><br />Laszlo Matulay has based his big splashy colored pictures on the traditional Tenniel drawings, but the text adaptation holds small justification. The familiar rhythms and pattern of words which make Alice a family possession through life have gone, and what is left serves merely as transitional material connecting the favorite poems which, thank goodness, have not been tampered with. Boards. --(Kirkus Reviews)
I like making mince pies and my recipe is nicer and easier than most, but it cannot be done without Fiona Shaw reading Alice in Wonderland (Naxos, £10.99/offer £9.89). Following the Mad Hatter's Budget Party this week, Alice in Wonderland is the ideal listening for those of us who now know - really know, not just in our boots, but right down to our hand-knitted Santa socks, that this Government makes up the rules as it goes along. Plan? Prudence? Prosperity? This is the Queen's croquet ground ... --Jeanette Winterson, The Times