Jabberwocky

Overview

Why shouldn't the Jabberwocky be a fourteen-fingered, slam-dunking beast?
Lewis Carroll challenged readers' imaginations with his most famous poem, "Jabberwocky". Here, Christopher Myers takes on that challenge by brilliantly re-imagining it as a face off on the basketball court. In this fresh take on the classic poem, our brave hero has mad skills, and with the help of his Vorpal 2000s, he emerges triumphant.
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New York 2007 Hardcover First printing New in new jacket 30 pp. With his signature exuberant, high-energy art, Christopher Myers delivers this radically new interpretation of ... Carrolls beloved poem, brilliantly reimagining it as a face-off on the basketball court. Full color. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Why shouldn't the Jabberwocky be a fourteen-fingered, slam-dunking beast?
Lewis Carroll challenged readers' imaginations with his most famous poem, "Jabberwocky". Here, Christopher Myers takes on that challenge by brilliantly re-imagining it as a face off on the basketball court. In this fresh take on the classic poem, our brave hero has mad skills, and with the help of his Vorpal 2000s, he emerges triumphant.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

J. Patrick Lewis
Christopher Myers's take on the greatest nonsense verse in the English-speaking world—a basketball face-off—combines brio and whimsy with more energy than a power forward…Award-winning books like Blues Journey, Jazz and Harlem, his Caldecott Honor book (these three were written by his father, Walter Dean Myers), have earned for Myers's art a grand and growing reputation. His Jabberwocky reflects once more his signature style and his willingness to take risks.
—The New York Times
Abby McGanney Nolan
…cleverly contemporizes the battle by setting it on a playground basketball court.…Myers's colors are bold and bright, his defined figures springing from watercolor-wash backgrounds and the typeface of the words conveying a jagged urgency.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

In his kinetic interpretation of Carroll's famous verse, Myers (Jazz) gives the poem a contemporary urban setting and a basketball theme. As the book begins, a girl looks over her shoulder while jumping rope with two others. A flip of the page shows what has distracted her: the dread Jabberwock, a towering, dark figure holding a basketball, flashing ominous-looking teeth ("The jaws that bite") and displaying enormous, seven-fingered hands ("The claws that catch!"). A boy takes on the task of besting the beast, donning stark white shoes ("his vorpal sword") and wordlessly challenging the Jabberwock to a game of one-on-one. Electric hues in the backdrops set off Myers's stylized figures and large multicolored font. While the merit of imposing a narrative logic on a work celebrated for its nonsense remains debatable, Myers's version will expose the Carroll classic to kids who otherwise may not encounter it. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Dianne Ochiltree
Christopher Meyers, son of author Walter Dean Myers, is a critically-acclaimed children's book illustrator in his own right, as evidenced by the Coretta Scott King Honor and Caldecott Honor he has already received for his work. Here he turns his illustrative talents to ‘re-imagining' a classic of children's literature: the nonsense poem, "Jabberwocky," from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. Here, the poem's setting is not a Victorian ‘down the rabbit hole' fantasy world. Rather it is set in a realistic, modern one: an inner-city basketball court. Meyers' Jabberwocky is a giant basketball player with seven fingers on each monstrous hand, the better to clutch the basketball. The illustrations tell a story of challenge and ultimate victory on the court, reminiscent of David and Goliath's fabled fight. Meyers' paintings are dramatic and bold, fluid and monumental. The book's palette is equally forceful, rendered in nearly neon tones. The text too is set in a contemporary, chunky typeface that utilizes colored ink and boxes to good advantage, giving the book a sophisticated, urban look. Carroll's words are not always strong enough to match the power of the illustrations, and they do not always dovetail with the pictures—-sometimes the pictures and the words are at odds with one another. At times the illustrations seem a bit too powerful for the traditional picture-book-aged reader, and therefore I would suggest this one for the slightly older reader, particularly reluctant readers. Reviewer: Dianne Ochiltree
Kirkus Reviews
Myers imagines an urban playground, small children playing happily until the Jabberwock arrives for an epic one-on-one basketball game with our unnamed hero. Striking visuals aid this transformation, placid blues and greens giving way to angry reds and oranges as the demonic Jabberwock enters, a tall, all-black figure with seven grasping fingers on a monstrously outsized hand. The juxtaposition of familiar text against new images yields beautifully felicitous interpretations: Our hero bows his head, the foreshortened perspective putting the emphasis on his hand resting against the chain-link fence, as the text reads, "So rested he by the Tumtum tree / And stood a while in thought." The actual conflict stretches over three spreads, a David-like hero confidently outsmarting the Goliath Jabberwock: "One, two! One, two! And through and through. . . ." Thus is order restored, and the children come out to play again. The choice of setting is brilliant, allowing the reader to join the artist in seeing the heroic possibilities in play. (Picture book/poetry. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423103721
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/4/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

LEWIS CARROLL is the author of the classic tales Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There which contains the beloved nonsense poem Jabberwocky.

Christopher Myers is a graduate of Brown University and the Whitney Museum of Art Independent Studio Program. His illustrations for Harlem, written by his father, Walter Dean Myers, were awarded a Coretta Scott King Honor and a Caldecott Honor. His previous books include the critically acclaimed Wings and Black Cat.

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