cover image Jabberwocky


Lewis Carroll. Random House Disney, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-245-3

This slick version of the classic nonsense poem from Through the Looking Glass seems more a Disney souvenir than a book to snuggle up with. Angular textural sketches, apparently rough drafts for an animated feature (many possess a Fantasia -like sensibility), are set against an overpowering black background that negates the tale's playfulness. Multiple frames on several pages make the (rather feeble) scenario difficult to follow, while the fabled, fearsome beast is here only silly--with its beaky, birdish head atop a caterpillary cover, it resembles a Chinese New Year parade's dragon or a Mardi Gras costume. When the victorious hero goes ``galumphing back'' with only the Jabberwock's head, youngsters may not realize that the weird animal is actually slain. Overall, this repackaging appears devoid of personality, and doesn't do justice to the comical original. These mome raths and mimsy borogroves deserve better. All ages. (Sept.)