Thursday, 9 February 2012

Review: Alice in verse: The Lost Rhymes of Wonderland - J. T. Holder

Published: February 11th 2011, Candleshoe Books
Pages: 82 pages, hardback
Series/standalone?: Standalone
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from back cover): Have you ever wondered... Who really stole the Queen's tarts? Whatever did become of the Walrus & the Carpenter after their nefarious jot down the briny beach with the little Oysters? Is there truly any sense to be found in the nonsense at all?

Come follow Alice down the rabbit-hole once again as Lewis Carroll's timeless tale is reimagined through the lyrical language of Wonderland...where a Caterpillar dispenses an indelible lesson, a Cat offers safe haven and (fairly) sound advice, and a Hatter and Hare throw a mad tea party before matching wits at the trial of the century!

My review: I'm a huge poetry fan and I really wish more children's and YA poetry was published, it's definitely a big gap in the market. I'm always on the look out for new collections to try so when I got an email from the lovely folks at Kuro Books (who are great - and actually read review policies, hooray!) offering me the chance to review a couple of J. T. Holder's books I jumped at the chance.

I was surprised just how much I enjoyed Alice in Verse, as I am a little tired of Alice in Wonderland inspired, well, anything. Books, films, jewellery - everything Alice is so big at the moment but Alice in Verse is a truly unique take on one of the best loved books of all time. The language Holder uses is stunning and the rhyme is easy and flowing, it never feels forced, which is so important in rhyming poetry.

The language used is beautiful but simple enough that I think children will enjoy this collection as well as adults. This would be a wonderful book for a parent to read to their child - I know this is one my mum would have read to me when I was younger and I definitely would have forced her to 'do the voices'.

The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous too, so I have to give major props to Andrew Johnson for really bringing the book to life through the pictures. Alice in Verse is such a unique, magical little book and I'm so, so grateful I get the chance to review it. Books like this are exactly why I love blogging so much, as I love having the opportunity to share books like this with you all. If you haven't read anything by J. T Holder yet then I really recommend starting with this one - you can order the hardback or buy a copy for your e-reader and I absolutely guarantee you won't be disappointed.

First line: 'How doth the morning sunlight breach
The shade beneath the thickets,
Along the bank, across the reach,
To still the song of crickets.'

Read if you liked…: Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs - Ron Koertge

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Total: 17/20


  1. Oooo I love the sound of this!! I may have to buy myself a late valentines present! ;)

  2. JT Holden clearly loves Alice -- he has done a wonderful job of replicating Lewis Carroll's poetical style. I recommend this book for Lewis Carroll fans.

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