Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There

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Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2014 – The Round Up

Published January 11, 2015 by bibliobeth

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2014 was the second year that Chrissi and I rolled out our Kid-Lit challenge. Again, it was a really fun thing to do which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Please see below for the links to my reviews and check out Chrissi’s blog HERE for her fabulous reviews.

JANUARY – Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

FEBRUARY – Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll

MARCH – Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

APRIL – The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis

MAY – Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie

JUNE – The Wind In The Willows – Kenneth Grahame

JULY – The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz – L. Frank Baum

AUGUST – The Swiss Family Robinson – Johann Wyss

SEPTEMBER – Swallows And Amazons – Arthur Ransome

OCTOBER – Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

NOVEMBER – White Fang – Jack London

DECEMBER – The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

So, in the style of the “Talking About…” reviews we normally do, we thought we’d answer a quick few questions about our second year of blogging in Kid-Lit.

1) What was your favourite Kid-Lit book of 2014 and why?
BETH: I am totally torn between three… Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden. I was delighted to find that I loved all three as an adult as much (if not more) than I loved them as a child. Little Women is an undeniable classic, Anne is just one of those characters you completely fall in love with and I love the style of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s storytelling.
CHRISSI: Little Women. When Little Women is an option out of books, I’m always going to mention it. Oh yes!
2) What was your least favourite Kid-Lit book of 2014 and why?
BETH: I think it would have to be The Swiss Family Robinson I’m afraid. I was bitterly disappointed with this book and expected so much more from it. Some passages sent me into complete boredom and it felt slightly too “preachy” for my liking.
CHRISSI: I’m the same as Beth for this answer. Unfortunately I found The Swiss Family Robinson DIRE! Such a shame.
3) What was the Kid-Lit book that surprised you the most?
BETH: Perhaps The Magician’s Nephew. This was one of my old favourites from childhood (along with the rest of the Narnia series) and there were whole parts of the story that I had forgotten so it was exciting to re-read and remember them all over again.
CHRISSI: Anne of Green Gables. I hadn’t read it prior to this challenge and I was surprised at how charming it was.
4) Have you been inspired to read any other books from a Kid-Lit author of 2013?
BETH: Once again, the writing of Frances Hodgson Burnett has made me long to read another of her books – perhaps we can put her on the list for 2016 Chrissi? Otherwise, I think I’m definitely going to read The Making Of A Marchioness this year.
CHRISSI: Oh yes. Let’s read more of Frances Hodgson Burnett! ❤

Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2014 – FEBRUARY READ – Through The Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

Published February 28, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

In 1865, English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), aka Lewis Carroll, wrote a fantastical adventure story for the young daughters of a friend. The adventures of Alice-named for one of the little girls to whom the book was dedicated-who journeys down a rabbit hole and into a whimsical underworld realm instantly struck a chord with the British public, and then with readers around the world. In 1872, in reaction to the universal acclaim *Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland* received, Dodgson published this sequel. Nothing is quite what it seems once Alice journeys through the looking-glass, and Dodgson’s wit is infectious as he explores concepts of mirror imagery, time running backward, and strategies of chess-all wrapped up in the exploits of a spirited young girl who parries with the Red Queen, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and other unlikely characters. In many ways, this sequel has had an even greater impact on today’s pop culture than the first book.

What did I think?:

The two books which tell the story of Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass always bring back happy memories for me as I was given for my seventh birthday a beautiful hardback of The Complete Illustrated Works of Lewis Carroll by my aunt, and spent many a happy hour in Alice’s weird and wonderful world. When Chrissi Reads and I decided to do a Kid-Lit challenge in 2013, I knew Alice in Wonderland had to be on there, and now we are repeating the challenge this year, Through The Looking Glass was also a dead cert for the list.

The World of the Looking Glass is even more stranger than Wonderland, if that is possible? When Alice first steps through the Looking Glass, she is faced with a chess board and tiny chess pieces which are very much alive, and a bit wary of this giant “volcano” (Alice) which lifts them up onto a table, giving them a terrible fright. Alice herself remains very much unchanged from the little girl in the first volume, still slightly irritating and incredibly proper, but completely compelling to read about at the same time. Once she becomes immersed in the new world, she realises things are very backward – quite literally – when she finds a book, she has to hold it up to the Looking Glass so it can be read properly. This is the famous and fabulous poem The Jabberwocky which begins:

 Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.’

There does seem to be more of a goal for Alice in this book compared to Wonderland, as she takes the place of the White Queen’s pawn on the chessboard, and is told she must pass through a number of squares, meeting a host of colourful characters before she can become a Queen on the Eighth Square. So Alice’s journey begins, and this is where Lewis Carroll’s imagination really ran riot. We have the peculiar Tweedledum and Tweedledee, a meeting with Humpty-Dumpty (is he wearing a tie or a cravat? Well, it IS hard to tell on an egg I guess!) and an encounter with a rather sinister knitting Sheep. These are just the stand out moments for me, but everything is so unique, a little bonkers, and completely surreal that I think children today might still enjoy this fantastical world. There is quite a lot of poetry in the story, apart from the Jabberwocky there is a lovely little poem about The Walrus and the Carpenter which I remember from my childhood quite vividly. Probably because I felt so desperately sorry for the poor gullible little oysters?

Since reading this book as an adult (and still finding the knitting Sheep quite sinister), I have fallen in love all over again with the magic of Lewis Carroll’s world. I recommend to anyone that hasn’t read it, or hasn’t read it for a while, to give it another shot and enjoy being taken on a radically different journey where flowers squabble between themselves, we have 364 “un-birthdays,” and nonsense is so much better than being sensible!

For Chrissi’s take on Through The Looking Glass please see her fabulous post HERE

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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WWW Wednesday #32

Published February 26, 2014 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, and thanks as ever to MizB for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?:

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I’m ploughing through this beast of a book this week. I’m really enjoying it, but for some reason it’s taking me ages to read!

What did you recently finish reading?:

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I really loved this book which I did as an interview type review with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads. Check out what we both thought on either of our blogs!

What do you think you’ll read next?:

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Next up, I’m reading Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll for the February Kid-Lit read which is a feature where I link up with Chrissi Reads. I’m also looking forward to reading this Icelandic murder mystery. It’s going to be part of a new feature which I’m doing on my blog and quite excited about.

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link and I’ll come pay you a visit! Happy Reading Everyone!

Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit – the titles for 2014

Published January 9, 2014 by bibliobeth

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Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit is a monthly feature I began with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads last year. We both chose six books each to represent the twelve months of the year and resolved to read and review one a month. We enjoyed doing it so much last year that we wanted to carry on the challenge for 2014, so without any further ado, here are the twelve lucky titles!

JANUARY – Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

FEBRUARY – Through The Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll

MARCH – Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

APRIL – The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis

MAY – Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie

JUNE – The Wind In The Willows – Kenneth Grahame

JULY – The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz – L. Frank Baum

AUGUST – The Swiss Family Robinson – Johann Wyss

SEPTEMBER – Swallows And Amazons – Arthur Ransome

OCTOBER – Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

NOVEMBER – White Fang – Jack London

DECEMBER – The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett