March 5 marked the highly anticipated release of Walt DisneyPictures' Alice in Wonderland, directed by Tim Burton. The film, whichfeatures a combination of live action and computer animation with 3D effects,pulled in just over $116 million on its opening weekend, becoming the biggest2010 premiere so far, and making it the highest grossing March film debut ever.
Featuring a star-studded cast, including Johnny Depp as theeccentric Mad Hatter, the film integrates elements of the original Alice'sAdventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass(1871), along with some new twists. Alice, played by Mia Wasikowska (recentlyseen in Amelia), is a 19-year-old who, escaping an unwanted marriage proposal,returns to the fantastical "Underland" after having dismissed her childhoodvisits there as recurring dreams. Though there's much dispute over her identityby the curious cast, Alice is informed that only she can slay the Jabberwocky.
Though Alice inWonderland brought in nearly 10 times as much as the weekend's nexttwo top films, Brooklyn's Finest and Shutter Island,critical reception was mixed. "Predictably rich in images," wrote the St. LouisPost-Dispatch, but with "little of the heart or madcap energy we mighthave expected," while USA Today said, "The movie should come with a notemarked â€˜Watch me' for its extravagance of whimsy and wonder."
Whatever the verdict, the release of the film has generated renewedinterest from the book world. From movie tie-ins to newly illustrated editions,we've rounded up recent and forthcoming children's adaptations that transportreaders down the rabbit hole.
Pub months are 2010, unless otherwisenoted.
Alice in Wonderland by T.T. Sutherland is anovelization based on Linda Woolverton's screenplay; it sports a purple,faux-leather cover with an image from the film. B&W spot art appearsthroughout. Disney Press,$16.99, ages 9-12, ISBN 978-1-4231-2886-1; Feb.
Alice inWonderland: A Visual Companion by Mark Salisbury offers a behind-the-scenesglimpse into the making of the film, with stills, production art, and insightinto Burton'stechniques. Disney Editions,$50, ages 9-12, ISBN 978-1-4231-2887-8; Mar.
Alice in Wonderland: The VisualGuide features photographs and movie stills, along with background on thecharacters and story. DK, $16.99,ages 8-15, ISBN 978-0-7566-5982-0;Feb.
Alice in Wonderland, illus. by Rodney Matthews, setsthis story on an interplanetary landscape with fantastical colored ink andairbrush illustrations. Black-and-white spot art accompanies the original text,and the book comes enclosed in a sturdy slipcase. Candlewick/Templar, $24.99, all ages, ISBN 978-0-7636-4568-7;Sept. 2009
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, illus. byRobert Ingpen, is an unabridged edition with more than 70 new illustrationsfeaturing a menagerie of anthropomorphic animals, created with colored pencil. Sterling, $19.95, ages 10-up, ISBN978-1-4027-6835-4; Nov. 2009
Alice's Adventures inWonderland, illus. by Oleg Lipchenko, presents a large-formatgift edition of the classic containing originaltext and illustrations that suggest 3Darchitecturalforms. Tundra, $22.95, allages, 978-0-88776-932-0; Nov. 2009.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: A Classic IllustratedEdition, compiled by Cooper Edens, anthologizes artwork from 19th- and 20th-centuryeditions of the book. Featured artists include: John Tenniel, Arthur Rackham,Margaret Tarrant, Charles Robinson, Gertrude Kay, Maria Kirk, and MillicentSowerby. Chronicle, $14.99, allages. ISBN 978-0-8118-7558-5; Jan.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: "Open Me for Curiouserand Curiouser Surprises!" adapted by Harriet Castor, illus. byZdenko Basic, utilizes a condensed interactive format featuring surrealphotographic and digital collage artwork, interactive pull-tabs, flaps, and apop-up scene. Barron's, $18.99,ages 8-up, ISBN 978-0-7641-6333-3; Apr.
Stickfiguratively Speaking: Alice'sAdventures in Wonderland by Jamison Odone pares down and deconstructsCarroll's classic using pen-and-ink stick-figure forms, in the first of aplanned series. PublishingWorks,$12.95, ages 4-8, ISBN 978-1-935557-61-6; Mar.
Paperback Activity, Series, and Novelty Books
Alice in Wonderland UltimateSticker Book contains more than 60 reusable stickers based on images from Burton's film. DK,$6.99, ages 6-10, ISBN 978-0-7566-5985-1; Feb.
All Aboard Reading Series: Lewis Carroll's Alice inWonderland by Deborah Hautzig, illus. by Kathryn Rathke, retells theclassic story in an accessible reader format. Grosset & Dunlap, $3.99, ages 6-8, ISBN 978-0-448-45269-2;Feb.
Little Golden Books: Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderlandis a reissue of the 1951 book based on Disney's classic animated film. Random/Golden/Disney, $3.99, ages 2-5,ISBN 978-0-7364-2670-1; Jan.
Stepping Stone Books Series: Alice in Wonderland,adapted by Mallory Loehr, is a version of the story modified for early readers.Random, $4.99, ages 6-9, ISBN978-0-375-86641-8; Dec. 2009