Saturday, 28 March 2015

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Mini-Reviews: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Some children's classics just simply don't need recommending - they are classics for a reason. So for these two much loved children's stories, I'll be reviewing these specific editions, rather than the stories themselves.

So here are two mini-reviews of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis CarrollAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (review copy) - Originally conceived by its author as an entertaining story for Alice Liddell, the daughter of an Oxford dean, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the fantastic tale of the young Alice’s encounters with the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts, has captured the imaginations of young and old throughout the world since it was first published in 1865. In addition to the vivid and unforgettable characters, it is the book’s experimental style, linguistic inventiveness and myriad of jokes and puzzles that account for the timeless fascination it inspires.

Published to coincide with Alice in Wonderland’s 150th anniversary, this volume includes John Tenniel’s iconic drawings, the sequel Through the Looking Glass and a facsimile of Alice’s Adventure’s Under Ground, the early manuscript version of the novel illustrated by Lewis Carroll himself.
From Goodreads.

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Alma Classics have published this beautiful edition to celebrate. Not only does it have Alice's two stories of adventure, but it also includes a facsimile of Carroll's early manuscript, Alice's Adventures Under Ground with his own illustrations.

This edition is absolutely fantastic. As well as the above, this book also includes a Preface to a 1987 edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - two years after it was published. Very amusingly, it discusses the Nursery Alice edition, and it's reduced price. It's not very long, so I won't go into it further, but it did make me smile. As well as the Preface, there is also a very sweet Prefatory Poem from Carroll, which talks about how the story came about. For the most part, the Preface to Through the Looking Glass is the same as that for Alice in Wonderland, but also discusses the Chess Problem, which is also shown before the story starts, linking each move to a particular instance in the story with the page number, and how each of the characters/pieces are set out before the game. Again there is a Prefatory Poem, this time about enjoying Through the Looking Glass now. The drawings from John Tenniel are familiar, but exquisite, and add a beautiful visual to this wonderful story. There are notes at the end of  Through the Looking Glass for both stories, to help readers understand the archaic language.

I have to say I love the facsimile of Alice's Adventures Underground! The handwriting, the illustrations! Really just wonderful, and such a great addition to this book! As well as background on both the author and the books, the Appendix also includes letters from Carroll to readers of the books as well as another poem, and a glossary.

A really wonderful edition with so much to enjoy! When it comes to such fantastic books, I always want them in nice hardbacks, but this edition is paperback only, which is sad. However, it's such a fantastic book, it doesn't really matter! Definitely an edition to treasure!

Thank you to Alma Classics for the review copy.

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Buy from:
Foyles



ISBN: 9781847494078
Published: 15th March 2015
Publisher: Alma Classics
The Lewis Carroll Society

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank BaumThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (review copy) - What are you looking for?

Friendship! Fantasy! Adventure! Excitement!

Dorothy and her friends know there's only one person who can help make their wishes come true and that's the Wizard. But as they set off to find him, the Wicked Witch is never far behind . . .

Oxford Children's Classics present not only the original and unabridged story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in a stunning new edition, but also help you to discover a whole world of new adventures with a vast assortment of recommendations and activities.
From Goodreads.

This beautiful edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum is quite a fun edition, with lots of cool extras to excite children and encourage reading and discovering other stories, such as with recommendations.

This book starts off with a short review from Oxford Children's Classics Champion for this story, and  a wonderful introduction from Frank Baum himself about how The Wonderful Wizard of Oz "aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heart-aches and nightmares are left out."

Towards the end of the book is a great list of questions, like book club questions, to get readers to think a little more in depth about the story, and information about the cover illustrator and how he designed the beautiful cover. Then comes the brilliant recommendations for other books and films/TV programmes/theatre shows the children might enjoy - and I loved the fact that amongst the books recommended are some not published by OUP, which is great. A quiz is included for readers to work out which character they should read about next - who appear in books which are published by Oxford Children's Classics. There is also a glossary and an in depth look into the life of Frank Baum.

A really fun edition I'm so impressed with for it's recommendations.

Thank you to OUP for the review copy.

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Buy from:
Foyles



ISBN: 9780192738318
Published: 5th March 2015
Publisher: Oxford Children's Classics

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