Busy Alice in Wonderland

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Busy Alice in Wonderland

Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A well-made and thoroughly enjoyable board book which will serve as an excellent introduction to the Alice stories.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 10 Date: May 2015
Publisher: Campbell Books
ISBN: 978-1447277699

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Now I'm not a great fan of Alice in Wonderland: I've never enjoyed fantasy and, as a child, there was something about the story which left me very uneasy. But it's stood the test of time for 150 years and I've come to accept that I'm the exception rather than the rule. A friend who is a fan was chatting to me recently and lamented the fact that her grandchild wasn't old enough to appreciate the story and I undertook to look around the bookshelves to see what was available and I think I might have come up with the answer.

Busy Alice in Wonderland is a board book, with paper (or should it be 'board'?) engineering. It would seem to too crass to describe what can be done with the book as 'pull the tab'. A pulled tab moves the hedgehog forward, paints the blooms red and puts stripes onto the cat's teeth (and all that is on the cover!) A finger in a ring moving through a curve drops Alice down the rabbit hole. The potion which Alice drinks quickly reduces her size and a turning wheel pours tea out of the pot. It's all brilliantly done and despite trying my best I couldn't find a single sharp edge or one of the pieces of engineering that I thought would soon need repair. It's a book which you could leave with a child rather than feeling that it needed to be kept on 'Mummy's shelf'.

With only ten pages the story is obviously a little limited but it gives a flavour of the plot and it should not be difficult for an adult to elaborate according to the age of the child, although I suspect that the fun of whizzing Alice up and down the rabbit hole will outweigh the story of what is behind the pictures for quite a while. The colours are strong and the illustrations vivid: it's one of the best board books which we've seen for quite a while and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

Macmillan have published this book and we've been impressed by the other editions of Alice which have been published for the 150th anniversary celebrations.

Editor's Note

The precursor to Alice in Wonderland, called Alice Under Ground has been in the hands of the British Library and it has now been made available for everyone to browse on their website. This edition is unique in that it was created by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll's penname) as a gift for Alice Lidell in 1864 and only adapted for publication a year later.

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Buy Busy Alice in Wonderland at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Busy Alice in Wonderland at Amazon.com.


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