Carroll, L., & Tenniel J. (1863). Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Macmillan.
Genre: Fantasy and Fiction
Suggested Age: Grades 3 and up. For younger children I would use pieces of the book to analyze and read, but not the whole thing because it can be challenging for younger ages to understand.
Alice In Wonderland was my favorite Disney movie as a child and I was excited to read it and see how different the two were. I wasn’t expecting a huge difference but was shocked when I learned that there are so many things in the book that make the story line even stranger. I noticed a lot of reoccurring words that Carroll used, such as “queer”. I also found it hard to follow because everything happening in the book was usually complete nonsense. As much as nothing made sense, that is what I loved about it. I also loved how morals and lessons are thrown in almost every chapter. Even something that doesn’t make sense on the surface holds a deeper meaning, it’s just uncovering the deeper meaning that’s hard. Lewis Carroll does a good job explaining this as the book goes on, but not blatantly. I was very fond of the sudden epiphanies and lessons hidden throughout the book that I believe would be a great concepts for children to grasp.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a story that doesn’t necessarily have a defined plot. There are so many small stories within the book that the plot is composed of many lessons and themes that make up the story line. Each chapter is devoted to a part of Alice’s journey of finding the garden and white rabbit that she catches a glimpse of as she first enters wonderland. The book has a victorian style of language and customs with simple grammar that is full of hidden lessons, riddles, and poems. The narrator tells the story and also includes some input but also lets us inside Alice’s thoughts. It was very interesting to see how Lewis Carroll incorporated little lessons throughout the book that taught Alice about how to handle situations in life. Although it is hard to uncover the meaning up front, there are hidden lessons throughout the book that make lessons in the classroom easier to plan. It may be a fantasy and fiction book, but the morals taught within it are very important and influential to children.
1. Explain how Alice’s way of looking at the world changes throughout the book.
2. How does Alice handle being continuously challenged by ideas throughout the story? Ex:
The Caterpillar questioning her recitation.
3. Is there a balance between fantasy and realism in the book, or do you believe it falls under another genre? Explain using details and quotes from the text.
4. Is there a reoccurring message or theme throughout the book?
Lewis Carroll includes lots of dialogue in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Choose one quote that stands out to you and reflect on the importance of it and the meaning or lesson it conveys. Include a summary of the chapter that your chosen quote is in and an illustration of what you believe the quote or chapter displays. Be creative, reflective, and insightful