Wednesday, January 31, 2018

This "frabjous" Book

art by Sarah S. Brannen
          Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From her and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!


         Sometimes books are so good that I just want to tell readers to go find and experience this book all by yourself. It is terrific! But I will share a bit. It is a picture book that tells about some main parts of Lewis Carroll's life. The subtitle is key, "A Celebration of Wordplay and a Girl Named Alice". Begin with the endpapers, blue words on blue background, Lewis Carroll's word gifts: gimble and gyre, callooh! callay!, snicker-snack and curiouser and curiouser, and more. (Spell check is going wild!) 
        The book opens before the title page with the final two verses of the poem "Solitude" by Carroll which can be found here. It ends "To be once more a little child/For one bright summer-day." Kathleen Krull writes Carroll's story in prose form, injecting his own words in delightful fashion. For example, even at the beginning, she tells of his joy when leading adventures with his brothers and sisters, "'galumphing'" along the leafy wonderland of the English countryside. Their 'burbles' of delight would brighten the 'tulgey' wood around them." There is also a part about riding in a boat with Alice and others, with Carroll beginning a story about a young girl named Alice who fell down a rabbit hole. And it is a wonder to see how Júlia Sardà illustrates that pack of cards, the "lobster quadrille", and the "Mad Tea Party". Her art fills the pages with whimsey and color. There is a double-page spread of the beginning of Alice In Wonderland with hints of all the incredible adventures to come.

         Lewis Carroll was one of eleven children and the book states he was the oldest, though I found in other research links that state he was the third oldest. I found conflict among several sources. Kathleen Krull does include a source list, an additional note, and a marvelous glossary of all the words included in the text with their definitions and possible origins/backgrounds. They are color-coded according to the text origin. One example: "'Snark'" is "an imaginary animal, perhaps combining 'snail' and 'shark'. Carroll always claimed he had no clear idea what it was."

10 comments:

  1. I did love the color coding part. Sometimes I really just love how books are designed and presented.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, me, too, Earl. Clearly, a lot of work went into this book and that glossary!

      Delete
  2. Requesting this book from the library now! And those words you shared from the poem "Solitude" inspired me to look up the poem. It's lovely. Thanks for sharing the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is pretty, I agree. Hope you like the book, Ramona!

      Delete
  3. I do love his made-up words. Definitely going on my TBR list.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This one just came in for me at the library! Looking forward to it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear, Michele. I just got it after a bit of a wait, too. Hope you enjoy it, too!

      Delete
  5. "gimble and gyre, callooh! callay!, snicker-snack and curiouser and curiouser, and more. (Spell check is going wild!)" - hee-hee. Carroll was the best at nonsensical words making sense. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The book also shared that 200 plus of his words are now in the Oxford Dictionary. He was the master! Thanks, Bridget!

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!