Alice is (exactly) six months older then when she fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. This perhaps is the reason for what I found to be the gre...moreAlice is (exactly) six months older then when she fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. This perhaps is the reason for what I found to be the greatest difference in Alice's adventures in Wonderland and those she had in the Looking-Glass world. Wonderland borders on the nightmarish. Alice is often quite frightened and totally flummoxed by her situations. So distraught is she at one point she ends up swimming in a pool of her own tears. Of course, those tears had been shed when she was much bigger, and, woe, she has shrunk again. In Looking Glass, Alice sometimes becomes irritated with the seeming lack of rationality possessed by the citizens of this backwards world, but rarely to the point of tears or anger. Through her greater maturity at times she is able to remember she is in a mirror land, and her knowledge of the game of chess allows some glimmer of understanding as well. Still some of the word play is a source of perplexity, especially in the case of the words "jam" (iam),the Latin word for a now meaning at that previous time, not meaning at this time, and the rowing terms "feather" and "crab." Besides in Looking-Glass world Alice as a more definite and positive goal - becoming Queen. The "adults" while sometimes vexing or demanding are never as threatening as those of Wonderland. No one is threatening "off with her head." Poor little hedgehogs are not being knocked about by poor flamingos at the Queen's Croquet game. In fact of the inhabitants such as the White Queen and White Knight are endearing in their eccentricity drawing from Alice a bemused sympathy and affection. Yes, Alice faces frustration but as a now older child she takes it in stride. Frequently she thinks about how it would be best not to get into an argument. She has become more disciplined, diplomatic and acquiescent since Wonderland.
There are the obvious differences, one story features characters which are cards, the other chess pieces which explains the oddness of their movements, or in the case of the sleeping king, non-movement. Through the Looking Glass begins the night before Guy Fawkes with Alice indoors watching snow fall on the fields of Oxford. The summer garden where Alice followed the rabbit is covered with snow. Not surprisingly in her new dream she goes into a lush, garden world.
While there are more songs and poems, though Alice rather wishes there weren't, there is less political satire. There have been attempts to interpret the Walrus and the Carpenter as combination portrayal as Buddha/Ganesha and the Carpenter as Christ, the interpretation falls apart when one finds it was John Tenniel who chose the Carpenter from three choices offered by author.
Through the Looking Glass is an amusing book though for me, it lacked Wonderland's psychological and satirical punch. I also miss the fiery, contentious Alice of Wonderland. Alice has grown up quite nicely-perhaps too nicely to be as much fun. However, it is easy to get caught up in Looking-Glass's whimsy. One can't help loving the White Knight who for all of his inventiveness never manages to stay on his horse. What's to be done; that is just the nature of a knight in chess, always confined to their hurky-gurky movement. Never a straight path for them. So it seems with most of us.
My cat, Lucia, would like to point out that Kitty is an offensive name for a cat. She says one should no more name a cat Kitty, than name a baby Baby. Though pleasant enough has a term of endearment, it is no name at all for a cat. She would happily lend her own name in any future revisions of the book. She also says the name Snowdrop is beneath comment.(less)
I remember the day my father discovered this book. I had read it as a child and loved it. Of course, I bought all the Harolds for my children. And of...moreI remember the day my father discovered this book. I had read it as a child and loved it. Of course, I bought all the Harolds for my children. And of course they loved them. One day though my father picked Harold up to divert my son. Now my father is a high ranking army officer, a genius, a practical man, a man of authority... In other words, not the type you would expect to swoon over a a near wordless book, but he did. Harold and His Purple Crayon is pure magic at its simple best. (less)
There are several different ways in which I could approach a review of Anne of Green Gable, but in fairness to the book, I think I need to review with...moreThere are several different ways in which I could approach a review of Anne of Green Gable, but in fairness to the book, I think I need to review with a strong consideration that I am not representative of the target audience. Montgomery's classic is a book that managed to slip past me in my book-greedy youth. For me the time period when such a book would have been effective was rather small, between the years of 9-11. I managed to hit all the others of this genre-Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Caddie Woodlawn, Greengage Summer...but not Anne. I am sorry I did not read it then. Casting myself back to those days, I ask, would 10 year old me liked Anne? I think at 10 I would have been enraptured. As a 50 year old reader, all I can say is that the story is a great deal of charm, but the character of Anne for the first 3/4 of the book drove me a bit mad. Lord, how the child gushes. Perhaps it is my slightly pessimistic turn, but her always looking at the sunny side of life was wearying. Then there is her tendency to frequently repeat certain of her pet tenants. Since the days of my mother reading Chicken Little to me, I have hated repetitiveness. One of my chief complaints with Dickens is his love of giving certain characters oft repeated mantras. This is not character development. Okay it is, but only of the worst and least subtle sort. The moralistic tone of the story was a bit much for me as well. All of this said, I probably would have loved this book at 10. (less)
This is much better than I was expecting it to be. I think my students will enjoy it and that it will be great as part of my first unit for the Common...moreThis is much better than I was expecting it to be. I think my students will enjoy it and that it will be great as part of my first unit for the Common Core.(less)