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Comic Review: The Wonderland Alphabet
Aaron the Strong   |  

The Wonderland AlphabetThe Wonderland Alphabet
Verse by Alethea Kontis
Illustrations by Janet K. Lee
Characters inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
Archaia Entertainment
Release Date: June 20, 2012
Cover Price: $11.95

Lewis Carroll has long captured my imagination with his imaginative tales of Alice and her journeys into the rabbit hole. Being a dad, I have looked forward to the day when I can share these books with my daughter. Thanks to Archaia Entertainment I don’t have to wait as long as I suspected.

The Wonderland Alphabet is a simple, but beautiful retelling of the story of Alice. New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis has compressed the stories of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass into a format that is fun for the entire family without losing the imagination or enjoyment of the original stories. Starting with the letter “A” and working through the alphabet, each page retells the story of Alice using beautiful poetic language that perfectly captures the magic of the works this book is based on. Naturally Alice graces the first page at the letter “A,” but other favorite characters aren’t far behind with the Cheshire Cat at “C” and my personal favorite, the Jabberwocky at “J.”

I do not fear the ticking clock
But lo, I fear the Jabberwock
I keep my
vorpal blade at hand,
To slay the scourge of
Wonderland.

Kontis is the author of Enchanted, which released earlier this year, as well as another alphabet book, AlphaOops!: H is for Holloween.

Helping bring this story to life are the beautiful illustrations of Eisner Award- winning artist, Janet K. Lee. Lee’s unique style of art in Return of the Dapper Men earned her and author Jim McCann an Eisner for Best Graphic Album earlier this year. Lee uses a unique style of decoupage to layer drawings creating a great deal of depth to each of her pages. In the case of The Wonderland Alphabet, Lee’s work helps to bring you further into the world of Alice by breathing life into each page.

An alphabet book wouldn’t be complete without the letters themselves and Lee’s brightly colored, floral patterned letters perfectly accentuate the poetry of Althea. The due had previously worked together and as such putting this book together was a quick process. The pair actually completed the project long before the release of Return of the Dapper Men. Lee made a conscious effort to not look back at the original illustrations of John Tenniel despite him being a personal hero. The originality of her work helps make the magic of this book all the more impressive. Lee said that naturally some of the peculiarities of Tenniel’s interpretations of Carrol’s characters did still come through, but all and all this is a brilliant new take on a classic story.

The poetry and art together create a book that can not only be enjoyed by children, but by adults as well. Returning to Wonderland is a journey that many will enjoy with help from this author and artist. The Wonderland Alphabet is sure to provide the perfect introduction to Alice and the worlds of Lewis Carroll for any who wish to journey down the rabbit’s hole.

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