Posts Tagged ‘Alice in wonderland’

I have always been quite evangelical of my love of book illustrations and for children’s book, I believe they are integral to the story and can complement a book so well and take it to the next level in a child’s reading experience.

Last week over at http://www.blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/ they featured an interview with the wonderful Oliver Jeffers and I have been inspired to look at his and other work more. And for that reason, Oliver Jeffers is the first to feature in my #Tuesday Choosings.

1. Oliver Jeffers is author and illustrator to ‘Lost and Found’, ‘The Great Paper Caper’, ‘How to Catch a Star’, ‘The Way Back Home’ and ‘The Incredible Book Eating Boy’.

The first book I read of his was ‘Lost and Found’ and I subsequently watched the 30 minutes animation which was shown during Christmas 2008 and it really captured the essence of the story. The picture book has a haunting silence to it in which the characters speak through the illustrations. The friendship felt between the young boy and the lost penguin who arrives on his doorstep is immediate even if the boy does not realise this himself.

Each of Jeffers’ books have a sense of humour and it feels like he is letting us into his own personal scrapbook of ideas rather than a composed book. There’s an important element of whimsy which underlies the beautiful tales and often important messages. A talented writer and illustrator who evokes such emotion, I can’t wait for what comes next.

Visit his website at http://www.oliverjeffers.com

2. Quentin Blake- An obvious choice perhaps but worthy of being on this list. He brought such joy to my reading when I was younger and I have wallowed in rediscovering his work at an older age.

Quentin Blake is best known for his affiliation with author Roald Dahl, illustrating for books such as ‘James and the Giant Peach,’ The BFG’, ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ – (my favourite) and ‘Matilda’. Today, Dahl’s writing goes hand in hand with Blake’s illustrations and we just couldn’t have it any way. No other illustrator has had such an influence on children’s books and I love just how passionate Blake is about his work and subsequently, how much joy he brings to a child’s reading experience. Visit his site http://www.quentinblake.com

3. Judith Kerr brings so much happiness to so many people. Author of the ‘Mog the cat’ books and ‘The Tiger who came to tea’ her writing and illustrations are simple; traditional and most importantly, familiar.

I’ve fallen back in love with the Mog books recently. I think it has something to do with me getting nostalgic about my cats Rolo and Scrumpy. The premise of the Mog books is simple; a cat and her family. Mog is a forgetful cat, she can be scared, she can be lazy and she can be silly, but she’s loyal, often saves the day and brings the family together. No more “Bother that cat!” Judith Kerr is also wrote her biography ‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit’ and this tale of her childhood is now considered a classic educational book alongside Anne Frank. Judith Kerr is a wonderful, wonderful woman who through her simple, childlike illustrations (and I mean that in the highest compliment possible) brings a sense of family to every childs life. After reading each Mog book, I want to be part of that family and that’s just a great thing. Or, at the very least I go and find my cats and give them a big cuddle.

4. You can probably all see right through me- another author/illustrator whose stories are based on families. Well yes, I relish the family dynamic but also recognise the importance of representation to a child.

Jill Murphy had to feature on here, she was my inspiration for this blog which is aptly named after one of her ‘Large’ family books ‘Five Minutes Peace’. As I grew up my picture books were stored away in the roof to make room for new ones, so for a large part  I forgot all about them. Then I started working as a bookseller; bad for my bank balance, great for my memories. I saw this book sitting on the bookshelf and there was the undenying feeling of nostalgia and happiness. I love that a book can just take us back. That is a sign of a good book, when it evokes feelings, when you get a response from it. Jil Murphy is quite diverse in her illustration style as she is also the author of the ‘Worst Witch’ series, another favourite of mine and one of the few ‘series’ which I stuck with. The sketchy black and white style of these illustrations work well with the hap-hazard character of Mildred.

5. Who knew the tales of a little girl and a blue kangaroo could be so successful? Emma Chichester-Clark has charmed the nation with her beautiful illustrative work.

Emma Chichester-Clark has also recently illustrated a new picture book edition of Alice in Wonderland. Her illustrations in all her books are rich and diverse with colour. Emma attended the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art where she was taught by Quentin Blake. Emma’s career has spanned many years and yet her style has unwavered because of its timeless ability to capture a child’s imagination. The simple character of Lilly is innocent and takes you back to a time where you sat in your room and had  favourite toy. Mine was a little hedgehog called harry. Lily’s is a kangaroo called Blue.


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Finally concluding my Alice themed posts (however I’m sure there will be more posts in the near future) this is another favourite of mine, and one of many books published in this theme by Walker ( Illustrated Classics). In fact one customer I served loved this series so much he cleared the whole shelf out.

Helen Oxenbury’s illustrations really bring the tale to life as the eccentric tale is put into motion with illustrations on nearly every page.

ISBN: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 9781406305772

ISBN: Alice Through the Looking Glass 9781406305777

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Treasury books and story anthologies are always popular gifts for children and there are so many to choose from.

A hardback edition of Alice in Wonderland is no exception as the classic illustrations instill nostalgia from the original Lewis Carroll tale. There’s something so haunting yet beautiful in this edition. Ingpen gives Alice such a delicate, untouchable nature.

I just love this, it’s one of my favourites. The illustrator is Robert Ingpen who has also illustrated classic editions of Peter Pan and The Wind in the Willows. Published by Templar, the book RRP’s at £14.99 and the publisher has released similar editions of other classic tales.

ISBN: 9781840119688

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Oh my goodness, I almost got to bed then I discovered the most wonderful blog site, ahh the powers of the search engine.

It’s just so much more than Disney, look at Alice gushing

This blog seems very new, only in the last few months but already it seems to have been met with great positivity. The passion for Lewis Carroll’s tale’s shines through as there are such wonderful literary and artistic adaptations reviewed on here that I am overwhelmed by the abundance of it all, and shamed to call myself a bookseller as I never would have found as many editions.

So please visit, read and review at http://aliceintheinternet.wordpress.com/ and see the diversity of Alice in Wonderland. She’s so clever to have learnt to set up her own blog.

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The first book recommendation in a week of ‘Alice’ themed books is Emma Chichester-Clark’s adaptation of the classic tale into a picture book.

Emma now has a cult following thanks to the success of the wonderful Blue Kangaroo series. Anyone who doesn’t fall in love with her books must have a heart of stone. The tales are emotive and the illustrations (also done by Emma) have a really distinctive style with an angular 2D style.

This picture book has been out for a little while but there is added interest at the moment as the new adaptation is released in cinemas Friday 5th March. It’s a longer-than-usual picture book but that’s to be expected with the length of the original tale.

The book contains all the classic characters we know and love and being brunette myself, I fully endorse the portrayal of Alice as a brunette!

I just adore the Alice tale’s, probably more so now than I did when i was younger. This might be down to my growing awareness of the complexity of the prose and the coded subtext. Like many Victorian stories and fairy tales, Alice In wWonderland is a deceptively frightening tale with the possibility of no escape but Emma’s modern update allows chiuldren of a younger age to enjoy Lewis Carroll’s exuberant talent without the prospect of rabbit-hole nightmares.

There are so many editions and interpretations of this tale, I can’t wait to share some different ones with you this week. With so many adaptations available to us for this and indeed, other stories such as Cinderella it might be nice to explore the history of children’s literature and I have a great book with does just that for us, so we don’t have to do all the hard work. Expect information about that tomorrow aswell.

Happy Alice reading, and get ready for a fantastical 3D experience at the cinema. As much as I loathe the fact it’s ANOTHER Tim Burton film with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter AGAIN, it looks to be a spectacular film that suspends our disbelief.

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With the release of Tim Burton’s take on Alice in Wonderland imminent it might be nice to re-visit some fantastic editions of the Lewis Carroll tale.

According to the Liberty London Girl blog regarding the Alice Temperley showing of the film, we should ‘suspend prior knowledge of the tale’ as Burton keeps his eye on the art than the tale.

So check back this week for an Alice theme. There’s so much scope in the tale and I love how timeless this is. Escapism at its finest.

So expect Alice picture books, anthologies, Alice for the young ones and don’t be late, for a very important date!

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