Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass is a classic by Lewis Carroll, the pen name of British writer, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson(1832-1898). Carroll was also a well-known mathematician.
Alice is a little girl who falls asleep while her sister is reading a book to her in the garden and has a fantastic dream. She sees a white rabbit with a watch run by and follows it down the hole. She falls through it and when she reaches the ground she finds herself in a room. She picks up a glove that the white rabbit has dropped but when she picks it up, she becomes so tall that she can’t see her own feet. To reach her normal height again, she picks up the glove once more, but this time she becomes smaller than a mouse. She begins to weep and almost drowns in her tears!
There is never a dull moment after that as the reader hurtles through one misadventure after another with a very confused Alice. She meets a variety of characters including a Mock Turtle, a disappearing Cheshire Cat whose smile is the last to vanish, the Mad Hatter and March Hare, and a pack of playing cards conducting a criminal trial. Alice is brought before the court and wrongly accused of stealing. How she escapes and finally wakes up from a most wonderful dream makes for one of the most engrossing children’s tales ever written.
Through the Looking Glass is a different Alice adventure in which she walks through a mirror during a game of ‘let’s pretend’ with her pet kitten. “’Let’s pretend there’s a way of getting through into it, somehow, Kitty. Let’s pretend the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get through. Why, it’s turning into a sort of mist now, I declare! It’ll be easy enough to get through —’. She was up on the chimney-piece while she said this, though she hardly knew how she had got there. And certainly the glass WAS beginning to melt away, just like a bright silvery mist.”
The ground on the other side is a giant chessboard and Alice must make the proper moves to get safely to the other side. The flowers talk and squabble with one another and Alice finds that in this strange country, to stay in one place one has to run fast. And to move ahead, one has to run twice as fast!
There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head. ‘Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; ‘only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’
The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: ‘No room! No room!’ they cried out when they saw Alice coming. ‘There’s plenty of room!’ said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.
‘Have some wine,’ the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. ‘I don’t see any wine,’ she remarked.
‘There isn’t any,’ said the March Hare.
‘Then it wasn’t very civil of you to offer it,’ said Alice angrily.
‘It wasn’t very civil of you to sit down without being invited,’ said the March Hare.
‘I didn’t know it was your table,’ said Alice. ‘It’s laid for a great many more than three.’
Paperback: 240 pages