”A clever retelling of Carroll’s classic story with all the imagery of the original.” —The Wishing Shelf
2019 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards – Honorable Mention in Chapter Books
About the Book
When Alice holds the naughty kitten up to the Looking-Glass, she sees the Looking-Glass House reflected there. Being Alice, a naturally curious child, she enters and finds herself in the midst of another adventure: a live game of chess with real Kings, Queens, and Knights, a game in which she is the Pawn.
Her goal is to reach the Eighth Square where she, too, will become a Queen. But before that can happen she must cross Seven Squares and will have many fantastic adventures with talking flowers, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, flying trains, and the Lion and the Unicorn, and . . . But why waste time? Enter the magical, fantastical world created by Lewis Carroll, where up is down and down is up, and everything is reversed!
This book contains eighteen original black-and-white illustrations conceived by Fiza Pathan and executed by illustrator Farzana Cooper.
TITLE: Through the Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There
AUTHOR: Lewis Carroll. Abridged by Fiza Pathan and Michaelangelo Zane, illustrated by Farzana Cooper
Star Rating: 4
‘A clever retelling of Carroll’s classic story with all the imagery of the original.’ The Wishing Shelf
It is, I think, very important to open the classics to younger children. Although the original texts are, of course, the best, there is still plenty of room for a good retelling, particularly if the story can then be accessed by younger readers.
In this abridgment of Lewis Carroll’s popular children’s novel, the authors have worked very hard to include many aspects of the original, from the Jabberwocky to Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Also, the imagery of ‘chess’ is still prominent, as is the ‘mirror’ theme, i.e. everything seems to be backwards.
I think, all in all, the authors have worked wonders with this retelling. It must be remembered, this is a difficult story in many ways. Carroll, I think, is a rather odd writer who tends not to focus so much on plot, but on setting and character – and, of course, trying to confuse the reader as much as possible. I often wonder if, when he wrote his Alice books, he wasn’t enjoying a large number of mind-altering drugs.
But, thankfully, the two authors have persevered. And, by doing so, are offering 7 – 12 yr olds a very accessible text. Carroll’s word play is still there, as is his logic and, of course, his fantasy. But, with a text of this sort, the young reader now has a chance of understanding it. Well, most of it anyway.
Finally, to the drawings. The illustrator is very talented; VERY talented, helping the reader to picture the characters and to understand Carroll’s often surreal settings. Although I enjoyed the story, it was, in fact, the drawings that blew my mind. If I ever write a children’s book, I will be turning to Farzana Cooper to illustrate it.
To sum up, this retelling would, I think, would be welcome in any school library. And, if I was trying to help a younger child to access Carroll’s work, a book of this nature would be most welcome. Let’s face it, it has to be better than the 2016 Johnny Depp film. Now that was terrible! —A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review