It never occurred to me that Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, would be considered a classic, until I saw it listed by so many readers on The Classics Club blog. I never read the original version, and I wanted to read it to my children. Before this, however, I relied on rumors about the book: "Alice in Wonderland is about drugs, hence, the name of the journal by Anonymous, Go Ask Alice." I read that book a dozen times in junior high, and talking about it now makes me want to read it all over again.
But I am convinced that Alice in Wonderland is not about drugs, at all. How silly! It is an adventure story for children about dreams. Well, it's not about dreams, but it is about what happens in our dreams, or even while daydreaming. When we are aware of our dreaming, we can explore our surroundings and push the limits of our adventures knowing we are safe and secure in our minds, which is exactly what Alice did.
The copy I read to my kids was a picture book, illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko. His artwork demonstrates a dream-like effect separate from reality.
I thought it was a perfect adventure story of uncertainty - minus the peril and danger - for children. My only complaint was reading it aloud. Given that the story is peculiar and ludicrous, strange and unrealistic, the sentences do not roll naturally off of the tongue. I had actually felt tongue-tied after two chapters.
Of course, I had to share this Tom Petty music video with my kids because it incorporated parts of the story in silly ways; my kids played it so much, it was stuck in my head for three days. Maybe we will watch a film version of the book next, but not Disney, though. Any suggestions?