Lunch Lady Graphic Novel for Kids References Alice Books

Lunch LadyHere’s another report from one of our mimsy minions, this time about a 2009 children’s book called Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians by Jarrett Krosoczka (Lunch Lady #2 in the series), with fun Carrollian references:

 The plot revolves around an evil librarian and her minions vs. the superhero Lunch Lady and some good kids. The bad guys get their power from opening books and having their characters jump out in some sort of ethereal form to promulgate mayhem. Of course, their big weapon was Alice in Wonderland, from whose pages the Cheshire Cat, Caterpillar, Dodo, and Walrus emerged.”

It’s available in various formats.  To view it on Amazon Smile, click me.

New Martin Cruz Smith Thriller “Tatiana” References Alice Books

Cruz Smith Tatiana NovelOne of our mimsiest minions reports that the latest Martin Cruz Smith (author of Gorky Park and more) thriller Tatiana includes various Carrollian references:

“Russian detective Arkady Renko owns a bookshelf full of children’s literature, including AAIW and fairy tales.  In the book, a Russian teenager taunts a homeless boy (who hustles a living playing chess) by quoting Jabberwocky (as in “Beware the Jabberwock,” etc.) and Renko invokes the white rabbit and the rabbit hole a couple of times.”

You can buy the novel wherever thrillers are sold.  If you shop on Amazon, remember that using their Amazon Smile site allows you to designate a charitable organization of your choice to receive a nominal portion of the proceeds.  To shop on Amazon Smile, click me.

Keep the Carrollian news coming, minions!

 

Cute Jabberwocky-Inspired Comic Strip

Here’s a cute Carroll-related comic by talented cartoonist Bill Amend,  forwarded by one of our mimsy minions.  Enjoy!  And if you would like to see more of the Foxtrot comic, click me.Jabberguac

2013 “Alice in Sussex” is a Graphic Novel In German

Alice in SussexIf you read German, or enjoy reading graphic novels regardless of the language, one of our mimsy minions reports coming across a recent one:

In a new (well, 2013) graphic novel in German, Alice chases the White Rabbit, who leads her down into his rabbit-hole in search of an illustrated edition of Austrian poet H. C. Artmann’s Frankenstein in Sussex. The artist and writer, Nicolas Mahler, is also Austrian. Links:

 

NY Public Library Children’s Books Exhibit Extended Through September 7th

Tenniel Looking-Glass TrainWe’ve just received this frabjous news from author and exhibit curator Leonard Marcus:

“The New York Public Library exhibition “THE ABC OF IT: Why Children’s Books Matter” has just had its run extended. Originally scheduled to closed on March 23rd, the exhibition is now slated to remain on view through September 7th.”

To read more about this excellent free exhibit, click me.

Review of New Manga Novel “Are You Alice?”

Are You AliceOur thanks to one of our mimsiest minions for this link to a very favorable review of another Manga (a graphic/comic novel with highly stylized art, typically not intended for children) with an Alice theme.  This one is called Are You Alice? and the first of many plot twists is that Alice is in fact a streetsmart young man!  It is written and illustrated, respectively, by Ai Ninomiya and Ikumi Katagiri, and sounds very intriguing.

To read the review, click me.

Alice Books Translated into Hawaiian With Localized References

they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapotHere’s another tidbit from a mimsy minion:

The Alice books have been translated into Hawaiian by a University of Hawaii professor in honor of the upcoming 150th anniversary of the publication of Wonderland, which is in 2015 as you likely know.  He notes that as in other foreign language translations of the book, he had to apply some localization in order for the stories to make sense to Hawaiian readers.  For instance, there are no crocodiles in Hawaii!

Translator R. Keao NeSmith notes that the publisher first tested his skills by asking him to translate the Mad Tea Party scene–which he likened to solving a Sudoku because of all the unique humor and references in it.  The edition is printed by Michael Everson’s Evertype publishing house.

To read more about these new Hawaiian Alice translations, click me.

New Yorker Article On Robert Frost Includes Quote on Alice

Duchess and Alice WalkingHere’s a tidbit from one of our mimsy minions:

In the current Feb 10 issue of The New Yorker, within a long article on Robert Frost, there is a quote from his letter from England, July 4, 1913: “…Now it is possible to have sense without the sounds of sense (as in much prose that is supposed to pass muster but makes very dull reading) and the sound of sense without sense (as is Alice in Wonderland which makes anything but dull reading.)…”

If you’d like to read the article on The New Yorker’s web site, click me.

Book Giveaway Event for “Alice’s Bloody Adventures” on Goodreads.com

Alice Bloody Adventures CoverEverybody loves a Giveaway Event! Raul Contreras reports that Goodreads is giving away five copies of his new book Alice’s Bloody Adventures in Wonderland. Enter before February 24th by following this link and clicking the “Enter to Win” button on the page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20643717-alice-s-bloody-adventures-in-wonderland

Review of New Jessica Young Poetry Book “Alice’s Sister”

Alice Sister Book CoverIf you are an LCSNA member, then you will see this review in the Winter issue of our wonderful members-only magazine, The Knight Letter. But in case you’re a lover of literature who isn’t a member yet, I wanted to share my review of a dark and fascinating new poetry book.  The opinions I express herein are mine, and not necessarily those of the LCSNA as an organization.

I don’t usually offer long posts like this, but in addition to alerting you to this compelling little book, it also gives you a taste of just one aspect of our terrific twice-yearly magazine.  Like the rest of the LCSNA’s features, The Knight Letter is a labor of love and entirely volunteer-created.  Even if you can’t make it to our meetings in person, many members join the LCSNA simply to delve into the delights of The Knight Letter, which features meeting recaps, Carrollian articles, reviews, amusing pop culture references, collectibles information, and of course, pictures and conversations.  Many years ago it started out as a humble newsletter, only two or three pages long.  Over the years it has blossomed into a full-fledged literary magazine of about 50 pages per issue.  I read every issue cover to cover–it’s that good. And it’s free with membership in the LCSNA.  To learn more about joining the LCSNA, click me.

Andrew

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Alice’s Sister
by Jessica Young
Turning Point Books, 2013
Paperback, 82 pages
ISBN: 9781625490384

Reviewed by Andrew Sellon

On any given day, you can find articles from anywhere in the world pointing out aspects of our society—particularly our laws and politics—that seem to mirror the topsy-turvy, nonsensical worlds created by Lewis Carroll in his two Alice books. In Alice’s Sister, a quietly powerful book of poems by Jessica Young, the comparison comes closer to home, specifically to a family of four: a little girl named Alice, her older sister Mary, and their mother and father. All four are given their chance to speak out individually, and they do so in a fascinating mélange of styles and meters. The next-door neighbor who gives the girls piano lessons also contributes a voice, as do an omniscient narrator and a surprise character or two. The resulting narrative mosaic, divided into what might well be called four dreamlike fits, charts the course of an unspeakable event within the family that tears it asunder irreparably. But while the tale is told through many voices, this is not Rashomon; there is no disagreement here about what happened, only how to live with it.

The cycle of poems is further enriched by Young’s occasional inclusion of a few phrases from Carroll’s Alice books. The elegant and remorseful ironies she earns by weaving a few of Carroll’s playful words amongst her own somber ones will resonate deeply with any lover of the original works. Young also offers her own evolving versions of “Jabberwocky” at key points in her disturbing tale, continually recalculating the cost of trust violated. There, as in the other poems, the characters find not gleeful nonsense, but a numbness or non-sense that alters every familiar detail of the physical world and makes  it suddenly alien, and possibly hostile, with scant hope of the sought-after escape or release:

My fingers move, my mind does too,
I hit a C and picture tea.
Mad hatted friend, what did you brew?
There’s so much it’s a sea.

The sea begins to rise, quite fast.
The houses gone, the whole world wet.
The landscape is now deep and vast,
and everywhere—a threat.

Yet, by the end, there are a few faint glimmers of hope and healing, bringing the cycle to a believable and satisfying close. Young is careful to note at the end of the book that this is not an autobiographical story, but that she hopes to do justice to the reality of the characters she has created. She has done so, admirably. My one minor critique is about a printing choice: For reasons that become clear, Young wants to set apart the poems narrated by the father. But rendering his poems in a very faint, gray print makes them a bit more difficult to read on the page than I think advisable.

The best compliment I can pay any book is to say that it rewards repeated readings.  This one does.  It is not for children, and it is not “feel-good” poetry.  But it is likely to make you feel many other emotions as the compelling story slowly and inexorably unfolds before you.