Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wonderland by Tommy Kova, illustrated by Sonny Liew

Here we are again in Wonderland, but Alice is nowhere in sight.  Now we get the story of Mary Ann, the White Rabbit's housemaid Alice was mistaken for.  Mary Ann enjoys her job, as she likes everything to be clean and tidy at all times.  Things quickly go down hill as the White Rabbit is accused of being in league with the Alice monster and the Queen of Hearts orders his head to be removed.  Mary Ann and the White Rabbit are on the run, and in the process fall down a treacle well and discover that the Queen of Hearts isn't the only queen left in Wonderland after all.

This was fun.  I think it would be less fun if you haven't read Alice in Wonderland.  There are lots of jokes that play off assumed knowledge of Wonderland, like the treacle well and the jabberwocky, the Cheshire cat and the disturbance that Alice caused when she was there.  None of that is explained.

While Mary Ann likes keeping things clean and tidy, she begins to get frustrated with everyone claiming that she's "theirs."  The White Rabbit calls her his maid, but the Queen of Spades decides Mary Ann will be her handmaid, never asking Mary Ann herself, of course.  When the group goes to Sir Edward to get some new clothes made, Mary Ann begins to think that she might like to work in a place like that, but when she tries to ask about it, the Queen of Spades cuts her off by asking if Sir Edward is finished attending to HER handmaid.

Mary Ann is always being told what to do by other people, even though she's far more sensible than most of them.  It has a nice ending with the White Rabbit acknowledging her as a friend, not as a maid.

It is illustrated by Sonny Liew, in a colorful cartoonish style.

A nice story, appropriate for middle grade or lovers of Alice in WonderlandWonderland is the first in a series, and there are three volumes currently available.

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