Thursday, March 04, 2010


A Week of Alice: Oleg Lipchenko

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll

Illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko

I have to admit, I didn't find this edition appealing at first glance. it's illustrated all in sepias and black/white drawings and sketches, and I wasn't drawn (heh) to the Alice in it right away. But this is a classic case of not judging on first impressions.

Once I started looking at the drawings more closely, I found them fascinating, in fact, filled with details and references to both the story and the back-story of Carroll and the "real" Alice. It's clear that Lipchenko has done some reading and put some serious thought and inspiration into what seem initially like so many doodles.

This is definitely not bright enough for a child or someone looking for some bright "wow" pictures, nor for someone who is intrigued by the darker aspects of Alice's adventures, but for someone who is interested in Carroll or is likely to spend time perusing the illustrations the way children do with I Spy books, it's full of hidden treats. It would amuse someone who knows a lot about Carroll, or perhaps inspire someone to read a bit more to find out, for the little things he has dropped in are truly clever.

In the end, I like this a lot for being not only thorough, but interesting in a quiet, unflashy way.

I liked it enough to include it among six editions I spotlighted over at this week, in fact. Go check out that and a few others that I won't be reviewing in greater depth here. There are some really nice things in the bunch!

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