Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

The front cover of Children’s Fantasy Literature by Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn (Cambridge University Press, 2016) looks innocent enough (from a distance) and the back cover proclaims it “features the work of Lewis Carroll, Frank Baum, [etc.]” Well, in this case the old saw is right. The sweet-looking girl on the cover (a digital mashup of Bouguereau’s Story Book and Child with Flowers) is here reading the Necronomicon, H. P. Lovecraft’s fictional grimoire, and a tentacled monster, possibly Cthulhu, is grabbing her hand. As to Carroll, he’s only mentioned eight times, each one en passant. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland does not even appear in the text!!

Which is not to say someone who wishes to read about Tolkien, Rowling, and their predecessors would not find something interesting here; it’s just unjustly light on Carroll, despite promotional material. Caveat emptor.


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