I have been told and forewarned to not judge a book by its cover because it is superficial and simply not right to do so. And I am ashamed to say that I have committed this mistake when I walked into a bookstore last week because I was unable help myself when I laid eyes on the book cover of “Alice Adventures in Wonderland.”
It is gorgeously designed in dark gothic style, with book title written in lovely cursive handwriting that reminded me of a friend in middle school who used to doodle such black and white swirls all over her textbook. Alice in her typical blue and white frock stands in the middle of a dark, sinister forest surrounded with red roses and various quirky characters from the book.
I do not know about you but I swear that different books do smell differently and this book smells absolutely rustic, together with the jagged edges of the pages, is befitting of Puffin Books’ re-reprint of the first edition of the text matched with one of the earlier illustrations by John Tenniel.
“Alice in Wonderland” is a children’s classic that I have went back to again and again throughout the years because reading it at different points in time elicits completely different responses. When I was younger, Alice’s adventures felt like a magical journey through wonderland. But during my recent reading, her trip down the rabbit hole felt curious and weird in almost a nonsensical and disturbing way, where she seems to either have an overactive imagination or suffer from hallucinatory delusions.
One of my favorite parts would be when Alice met the Cheshire Cat who grins from ear to ear.
In that direction,’ the Cat said, waving its right paw round, ‘lives a Hatter: and in that direction,’ waving the other paw, ‘lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.’
‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked.
‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat, ‘or you wouldn’t have come here.’
Alice didn’t think that proved it all; however, she went on: ‘And how do you know that you’re mad?’
‘To begin with,’ said the Cat, ‘a dog’s not mad. You grant that?’
‘I suppose so,’ said Alice.
‘Well, then,’ the Cat went on, ‘you see, a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s please. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.’