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Alice in Wonderland

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K-Gr 4-In this disappointing effort, Seibold uses bits and pieces of Lewis Carroll's original text, but the story has been so severely abridged that the narrative is disrupted and the remaining scenes seem disconnected and illogical. For example, the action abruptly shifts from Alice finding the bottle labeled "drink me" to her being stuck inside the Rabbit's house, without any explanation of how her size was altered or how she came to be there. The choppy text is not helped by the numerous typefaces employed; the constant change in colors is distracting and some of the fonts are difficult to decipher. Mixing shades of olive green, mustard yellow, and sherbet orange, the spreads are packed with color and action. The faces of the characters are stylized and have a flat appearance that is a bit disconcerting. Some of the pop-ups work better than others. There are a few clever effects, such as when a pull-tab brings down a piece of murky plastic that covers all of the Cheshire cat except his smile. If you need to have your Alice in 3-D form, stick with Robert Sabuda's version (Little Simon, 2003), an adaptation with beautifully composed illustrations, flawlessly engineered pop-ups, and a carefully edited text that evokes the flavor and flow of the original.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

engineered Alice does not match the gracefulness of Robert Sabuda's (reviewed above). It begins briskly, with Alice spying the White Rabbit, but soon reveals its shortcomings as a pop-up. The rabbit, for instance, printed on a bent flap, lies almost flush with the ground. Throughout the book's seven tableaux, the paper architecture does not unfold smoothly, requiring manual assistance that reduces the book's shelf life and the pleasure of playing with it. Unfortunately, Lewis Carroll's story is so condensed that some of the visual details (references to Alice's "sea of tears" and the "fish-footman") appear from nowhere; Carroll's original might have nonsensical turns, but its plot is coherent, whereas this narrative may well be befuddling to those unfamiliar with the tale. Yet where this book is lacking in sleek engineering and storytelling, it does offer avant-garde aesthetics. The text is hand-lettered in Seibold's signature multicolored script, and the images are styled in his minor-key palette of olive drab, blue gray, brick red, plum and white. Pull-tabs welcome reader participation, and some reveal themselves only on rereadings. Among the best effects is a Cheshire Cat whose smile is printed on a clear plastic window; when someone tugs the tab, a smoky piece of plastic descends, obscuring the Cat but leaving its grin. Seibold's funny, non-moveable books, such as the Mr. Lunch series, better convey the illusion of action and excitement. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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