I’ve just learned about a new interactive eBook app version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This one comes from award-winning designer Emmanuel Paletz. This version draw images from Flemish and Dutch Renaissance paintings to give the eBook a uniquely textured and “classical” look. It’s like a mash-up of Lewis Carroll and an elegant art history class. Add a lot of nifty-looking interactions, and you have a creation that should be entertaining for children and adults alike.
To read all about the app, click me. The app’s website itself is visually delightful, and well worth a look. Mr. Paletz talks about Lewis Carroll’s appreciation of art, and how images like Quentin Matsys’s famous painting “The Ugly Duchess,” referenced by Tenniel in his illustration. became a touchstone for his whole project. The entire eBook took Paletz about four years to create– a labor of love. His Q&A section also talks about subtle political/social commentary that he has added here and there, as well–but nothing too overt to spoil the fun of Carroll’s story. And that’s a good thing, because as the author himself was quick to point out, in this book he wanted to entertain, not moralize.
The iPad app costs $4.99 and is available now on iTunes. An Andoid tablet version (also $4.99) and versions for iPhone and Android smartphones ($2.99) will be available in the near future.
Here’s a promotional video for the eBook. (If it doesn’t appear below, try reloading this page in your web browser.)
Another of our resourceful mimsy minions has pointed us to the Open Culture educational resource web site, where they offer one page with links to 550 free audio books, both classic and contemporary, and another page with links to 550 free eBooks. Both lists include versions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland–and intriguingly, the audio books list also includes The Game of Logic!
If your ears need some Carrollian tickling, click me to explore the audio list.
If your eyes need some Carrollian reading, click me to explore the eBook list.
Attention minions: more blog news items are needed–the treacle well is empty! (In fact, we always need your input to keep this blog going!) Contribute your news items today at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Here’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.
One 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!
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.
If 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:
We’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.
Our 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.
Here’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.
Here’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.