cover image Mrs. White Rabbit

Mrs. White Rabbit

Gilles Bachelet. Eerdmans, $17 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8028-5483-4

When Lewis Carroll’s White Rabbit is busy racing around Wonderland, he leaves behind a harried wife and several demanding kids—at least according to Bachelet’s diary-style portrait of a not-so-happy family. Mrs. Rabbit doesn’t hold back in describing her frustrations with her husband’s obliviousness and frequent absences (“Sometimes I dream about how sweet it would be to share some simple, happy moments together”) or her concerns about her children: Beatrix, an aspiring supermodel, “spends all her time on the scale and refuses to swallow a single bite,” while twins Gilbert and George are shown shooting marbles with their own pellets. Bachelet (My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World) stuffs the pages with Easter eggs for Alice fans to enjoy: the Caterpillar smokes his hookah outdoors in a street scene (his wife, in curlers, glares at him from an upstairs window), Alice herself pops up occasionally, and playing cards and dodos are everywhere. Bachelet’s careful, detailed artwork delights (a spread of 100 carrot-themed dishes is a showstopper) but this is among the gloomiest marriages to grace the pages of a picture book in some time. Ages 6–10. [em](Feb.) [/em]