Posts tagged ‘Alice in Wonderland’

A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE

The Magic in You: Help Your Child Overcome Public Speaking Fears

Written by Emily Reed

When seven-year-old Liam learns from his teacher that everyone in the class will have a role in their school play, Alice in Wonderland, he is really excited. The whole family supports and encourages him. Mom sews his white rabbit costume and grandma bakes him a pie. Liam works hard to learn his lines, but the night before the play he has a nightmare that he forgets everything and everyone makes fun of him. His grandma urges him to wear a special red bow tie that will help him remember his lines. Now Liam has full confidence in himself.

This book is a good bedtime story or beginning chapter book to promote a child’s self-confidence in public speaking. I read the kindle version. The text size was a comfortable read for beginning readers. Unfortunately, the pictures were too small. Recommended as a bedtime story or beginning chapter book, especially for shy children.

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THREE DIVERSE STORIES

Oliver and Jumpy: Stories 31-33

Written by Werner Stejskal

Illustrated by Mario Tereso

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If you haven’t read any of the Oliver and Jumpy stories, you are in for a treat. Oliver is a stylish tomcat who is best friends with Jumpy and Joey, two kangaroos. The first tale takes place on New Year’s Eve in Oliver’s treehouse. Every year the crockery and cookery in his kitchen come to life to entertain Oliver and his friends. Children will delight as the colorful objects cook, clean, dance, and play music, a delightful and innovative way to celebrate New Year’s Eve. In the second adventure, the three friends are playing with the whales making their way down the coast to Antarctica. But Joey gets a bit too rambunctious when he goes for a swim and a shark comes up to eat him. Oliver will have to devise a clever ploy to save his friend’s life. The third tale is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. When Oliver enters a special door of a local castle, he transforms himself into a tiny creature. Oliver becomes a tour guide for us as he leads readers through the minuscule world of caterpillars, beetles, ants, and lady bugs. We will learn what it is like to a speck in a big universe.

Beautifully illustrated with color that is a feast for young eyes. These stories teach preschool and primary school children important moral lessons and appreciation for animals, plants and the world we live in.

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VINTAGE VOYAGE

The Rocket Book

Written and illustrated by Peter Newell

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This book was originally copyrighted by Harper and Brothers Publishing in 1912. Peter Newell was born in 1862. He illustrated for Mark Twain and the Alice in Wonderland books. Once relegated to the shelves of the Library of Congress, the book has been reissued in print and digitized versions. It is available online at amazon.com.

As many of my readers know, I am a history lover; I write about history. I live in a house that is more than one hundred years old, and I grew up in an apartment not unlike the “flat” in this story. The illustrations in this book are priceless! Newell uses black and white and muted colors that make the drawings pop. Facial expressions convey the humor and intent of the story. Each part of the story contains eight lines of catchy, clever verse. Even though today’s children may be unfamiliar with many of the items pictured: a Remington typewriter, a wooden hobby horse, a taxidermist with his walrus head, they will get the story from looking at the rhyme and the accompanying illustration.

What is the story? The janitor’s kid named Fritz, who is described as a “bad kid,” finds a rocket in the basement of a twenty-one story apartment building. He lights it up. The reader is taken on a humorous journey following the rocket through an apartment on each of those floors. The mayhem which ensues includes knocking off grandpa’s wig, ripping through a new hat through a hat box, destroying a breakfast table while exploding catchup on the family, and scaring off a burglar in one of the apartments. Where and when does it stop? Take a look at this book to learn a lot about early twentieth century people, clothing, and lifestyle. This book will appeal to adults interested in vintage objects and children age eight and up who enjoy humor, a good verse, and a dose of history.

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A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

Written by Lewis Carroll and illustrated by John Tenniel

e Book design by Marie-Michelle Joy

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I picked up this new e book version of the classic Victorian tale on a whim. What I did not expect was a totally new perspective on this classic fantasy tale.

As a child I read the book, but did not much care for it. After doing a bit of research I discovered that Carroll (real name Charles Dodgson) told this story to a friend and his three young children while enjoying a boat ride. The children were so pleased with it that he decided to write it down and commission John Tenniel to do the drawings for the publication. Dodgson was a mathematician intrigued by the math and science that was being applied daily to inventions as England was entering the Industrial Revolution. His other interests included reading, poetry and photography.

Alice was modeled on one of these three girls. She is curious and polite. The character in the story displays fear and courage, resilience, and the ability to adapt to change. The anthropomorphic characters she encounters are a strange bunch; some of them like the Cheshire Cat and the Caterpillar appear to teach her, while others like the Mock Turtle and the Flamingo appear sillier and more frivolous. A careful reading will produce numerous evidences of mathematical reasoning and the importance that the author attaches to mathematics in the world around us; yet the reader’s main focus centers on the trials and tribulations that Alice must face from the time she falls into the rabbit hole: how she must swim herself across the sea of tears to face the challenges that many creatures present, to her ultimate escape from the nefarious Queen of Hearts at the trial, which almost results in her losing her head! Alice learns to think on her feet quickly in this coming of age tale.

Adult readers will reminisce and recall many of the famous quotations, like “Off with his head,” and “Curious and curiouser.” Tenniel’s woodcut engraved illustrations are etched in time and delight the eye, whether in black and white or in color. The beautiful scroll work that edge the pages are a reminder of the care taken with printing books long ago. Alice is a strong, intelligent character who maintains the proper balance between respect and independence; she is probably one of the first strong female models in modern literature. This book can be used as wonderful tale for family discussion on so many levels. I would recommend it for tweens and teens as well.

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