Tumble down the rabbit hole into a wonderland filled with rhymes and whimsical wordplay.
In their first collaboration together, Krull and Sardá produce a delightful confection that is part Lewis Carroll biography and part word game. This charming picture book combines the nonsense words and phrases that became his trademark and names from his famous books about Alice to bring readers on a guided tour of Carroll’s madcap yet irresistible fantasy world. Along the way, readers learn the story of Carroll’s childhood and his meeting with the Liddell family that produced the books that made him a household name. The witty prose is aided and abetted by Sardá’s illustrations, which breathe new life into the infamous characters from Carroll’s life and Alice’s adventures. The illustrator’s double-page spreads are a wonderland in and of themselves, a riot of color that grounds the figures in the real world while also rendering them fantastical. The world created by the text and illustrations is tantalizing yet off-putting; it perfectly re-creates what Wonderland is meant to be, and the human figures in the pictures are, appropriately, both beautiful and slightly creepy. Krull refers to her subject as “Lewis” in the body of the text, not revealing Charles Dodgson’s real name until a closing note.
Thoughtful and evocative, this book will bring a score of new readers to Carroll’s impressive work. (glossary, sources) (Picture book/biography. 3-7)