Archive for May 23rd, 2011

23
May
11

All Us Through the Magnifying Glass

All Us Through the Magnifying Glass by B. Leslie Barker.

Tenniel illustrations.

Published in 1955, W. Ruddock & Sons Ltd.

This is a pre-publication copy as far as I can make out: there’s a note inside the front cover that says

‘Leslie from Leslie. not for publication until the executive permit 20.12.54’

Rather than a book, this is a pamphlet written as a tribute to the Philatelic Congress of Great Britain.

There’s even one of my favourite things- a Jabberwocky parody:

‘Twas Congress, and the quarter perfs
Did gyre and gimble on the gauge:
All braisil were the oeil de boeufs,
And bomba heads outrage

Alice’s name has been changed to Aniline, but several of the other characters are there. A fun little thing.

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23
May
11

Alice by Whoopi Goldberg

Alice by Whoopi Goldberg.

Illustrated by John Rocco.

Published by Bantam, 1992, Hardback, first edition with dustjacket.

ISBN: 9780553089905

Very odd: Alice looks like an aging hooker…

From the dustjacket:

Listen up – you’re about to lose control on a topsy-turvy adventure with a girl named Alice, one very cool, semi-invisible rabbit, a card-playing misfit with some serious headgear, and the wickedest queen you’ve ever seen! “Wait just one minute,” you say, “I’ve heard this story before.” Baby, you’ve never heard it like this. This tale is told by Whoopi Goldberg, the most outrageous storyteller around. This isn’t Wonderland, it’s the big, bad city. And these characters aren’t like any you’ve ever met. You’re about to find out that this town is bursting with crazy surprises. See, Alice has won a mysterious prize worth big bucks that she’s sure will change her life forever. But first she’s got to claim it – in person. Take off with Alice down streets where bendy buildings wave over your head. Watch the kaleidoscope colors of graffiti fly by on the subway. Even stop off at a diner that shrinks up smaller than your lunchbox. Just don’t linger too long over that tiny hamburger (even if those loony twin waiters do crack you up) because there’s a snooty uptown queen who’s just itching to snatch the prize ticket away from Alice. Join some new friends in a dizzying race against time that’s sure to mess up your hairdo and remind you that wild and wonderful things can happen in worlds as nearby as your very own neighborhood.

Review from Michael Cart, formerly at Beverly Hills Public Library (that I tend to agree with):

Goldberg’s first literary effort is compromised in several important ways: first of all, as its title suggests, the book attempts to be an urban pastiche of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland . This would be okay if the device were integral to the plot or even to the spirit and tone of the book. Unfortunately, it is neither. A second problem is that its premise is tired and its resolution predictable: the eponymous hero, Alice, is a young African-American girl living in New Jersey (well, at least the text tells us she’s young; in the illustrations she looks as if she’s about 42) who wants to be rich. Why she wants this is unclear, since she lives in a “nice” single-family house on a “nice” suburban street. Nevertheless, she enters countless sweepstakes and, no surprise, one day she receives a notification that she is a “WINNER.” To collect her prize she must go to New York City. Gathering up her friends (a Mad Hatter look-alike named Robin and an invisible rabbit–borrowed from the play “Harvey”), off she goes to the Mean Streets. There she meets a greedy rich woman who tries to steal her winning ticket; and, of course, it turns out that the sweepstakes is a scam and, of course, Alice comes to realize that she is already rich–in friendship. This is not only tired but trite, especially since Alice doesn’t learn this lesson herself; instead a fortune-teller informs her. The biggest problem of all, however, is that this is not a book for children; it’s a commercial package, which, in its style and sensibility–especially as captured in Rocco’s stridently expressionistic illustrations–is designed to appeal to adults shopping in a retail store.

Available on Amazon: Alice

23
May
11

Illustrated by Joe McLaren

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: illustrated by Joe McLaren.

Published by Whites Books (Pocket Editions), 2010, hardcover book, embossed and with a black ribbon bookmark. First edition.

ISBN-13: 978-0956266828

Lovely little book, with wonderful illustrations, but it’s a shame that the band is glued to the inside front cover- I don’t want to remove it and damage the book, so I can’t scan in the whole cover…

Joe McLaren says on his website:

I was born in 1981, I live in Kent, I’m married, and I work as a freelance illustrator.

I graduated in 2003 from Brighton University (BA Hons Illustration First Class) and won a prize (University of Nagoya student show award~ first place).

I do lots of work for newspapers and magazines (most notably the Times and WIRED), and illustrate lots of book covers.

I can be contacted at joe_b_mclaren@hotmail.com

Available from Amazon: Alice in Wonderland (Pocket Classics)




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