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Alice in Wonderland

New or Used: $7.99
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With strong performances from a stellar full cast, this dramatization of the beloved novel sends listeners tumbling down the rabbit hole and into a world of magic, mushrooms, anthropomorphic animals and adventure. Chasing the White Rabbit, growing and shrinking in size, and meeting a menagerie of oddballs-the dotty Mad Hatter, the lugubrious Mock Turtle, and the homicidal Queen of Hearts-Alice attempts to navigate the strange world without losing her head-literally and figuratively. With Sarah-Jane Holm as Alice, Roy Hudd as the Mad Hatter, and David Bamber as the White Rabbit-all of whom sound as if they're thoroughly enjoying themselves-the cast transports the listener into an alternative universe with perfectly scored incidental music and fantastic sound effects. An energetic and delightfully zany rendition of the classic. (Jan.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Gr 3 Up Hague, in his ``Afterword,'' gives a fine reason for tackling a book that has already been illustrated some 100 times: to ``reinterpret the classics for each new generation of children.'' But what does Hague bring to Alice that is fresh or contemporary in insight? Only a set of crowded images that seem too often to be seen through a dirty yellow filter. There's no denying the competency of his drawing. He does his anatomy homework, and his mock-Rackham trees are properly gnarled, but they lack the brooding mystery of the master's originals. The Queen is a fresh face with a red fright wig and jutting lower lip, almost a Dom DeLuise in drag. But Alice, although a real girl, looks too old for the part at times. Individually, Hague produces attractive characters that hover quite close to the descriptions Carroll provides or Dame Nature offers. Once again the trouble comes in the organization of these characters and architectural sets; they too frequently don't seem to fit. A heavy-handed use of black outline is one reason figures are isolated in space. Sometimes it's an odd juxtaposition of colors. And why does he put human hands on some of his animals and not on others? Although these odd bits of artistic shortcomings are in evidence, they do not override an attraction to aspects of Hague's illustrations, which will have broad appeal. Yet despite his expressed hope that children ``will want to read this wonderful story'' because of his pictures, it is more likely that they'll want to read it because of the profound imagination of the author and his ability to spin a yarn as pertinent today as it was 100 years ago. Kenneth Marantz,u Art Education Department, Ohio State Univ . , Columbus

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