Publishing a newly illustrated edition of a children's classic is a risky undertaking: Is there really a need, for example, for another excursion down the rabbit hole with Alice? However, when the work is graced with Weevers's elegant watercolors, the answer is a resounding yes. Encountering the sublime cover painting, the reader senses instantly that here is no commonplace Alice : only slightly bedraggled, the plucky heroine paddles valiantly through the pool of tears, with stately birds and a solitary mouse in tow. In this volume Weevers ( The Hare and the Tortoise , Herbert Binns and the Flying Tricycle ) has produced his most sophisticated and lavishly detailed paintings to date. A magnificently liveried, haughty lobster sneers as he grooms fastidiously; a dolorous King of Hearts and his indignant consort preside at a tasty trial, heedless of the courtroom banner proclaiming Amor vincit omnia --love will certainly not conquer this pair. Rendered in a traditional style, unlike the surrealistic approach chosen by Anthony Browne in his recent edition of Alice , these illustrations are set amidst a treasure trove of Victoriana: Alice plummets past a dusty bell jar surrounded by crumbling leatherbound volumes, the Duchess perches on a Chinese oriental carpet beside a tufted leather footstool. This is an Alice to revisit again and again. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)
'A new multi-voiced unabridged Alice in Wonderland is the best I have come across.' -- Christina Hardyment "The Times"
Gr 2-5-An oversized book containing 12 full-page illustrations, one per chapter, with various smaller pictures of story elements peppered throughout, similar to the layout and design Zwerger used in The Wizard of Oz (North-South, 1996). The pictures are done in muted watercolors with very simple lines. Despite the flawless artistry evident in the work, there is something missing from Zwerger's Alice, and that would appear to be Alice herself. The child is clearly seen full-face in only a single illustration, that of the mad tea party, and then her facial expression is blank and disinterested. Otherwise, she is merely glimpsed: in the distance, looking down, disappearing from the page, and in some cases headless. The illustration of Alice after she has drunk the liquid causing her to grow shows only her cramped knees. Carroll's Alice is a feisty participant in her adventures, but Zwerger portrays her more as a sleepwalker, giving readers no opportunity to see how she is reacting to the events around her, be they bizarre, nightmarish, or humorous. While adults may find the book interesting from a visual standpoint, either the original artwork by John Tenniel or Michael Hague's charming version (Holt, 1995), which has literally double the number of illustrations, will have more child appeal.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.