Paired to creamy, surreal illustrations, an abbreviated and retold account of Alice’s sojourn from her encounter with the Cheshire Cat on in this sequel to Alice in Wonderland: Down the Rabbit Hole (2015).
The general plotline remains intact, though along with leaving out the Mock Turtle, the Lobster Quadrille, nearly all of the poetry, and much else, Rhatigan and Nurnberg modernize and retune the language as well. Alice is first offered “juice” rather than wine at the tea party, and later, seeing that she refuses to have her head cut off, the Queen says “Well, okay. Can you play croquet?” Puybaret fills in a few of the missing details (putting gardeners painting white roses red in one scene’s background, for instance) but focuses mainly on creating spacious, neatly composed tableaux in harmonious colors. These feature exotic flora, animals in stylish court dress, and (mostly) light-skinned human figures with long pointy noses and glassy eyes. Alice, a blonde, white beauty in a flowing green skirt, wakes at last and is last seen skipping home, heedless of the white rabbit and other previously met characters looking on. The adapters’ retelling of co-published The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Adventures, illustrated by Debra Bandelin and Bob Dacey, is similarly abbreviated though not quite so colloquial.
A bland if pretty treatment for adults who feel their children are not ready for the original. (Picture book. 5-8)