Jabberwocky (Visions in Poetry Series)

Jabberwocky (Visions in Poetry Series)

4.2 13
by Lewis Carroll, Stephane Jorisch
     
 

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The award-winning first book in the Visions in Poetry series explores Lewis Carroll's celebrated nonsense poem.See more details below

Overview

The award-winning first book in the Visions in Poetry series explores Lewis Carroll's celebrated nonsense poem.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Jorisch’s visual interpretation of the poem is both provocative and personal, and it incorporates a worldliness and familiarity with human nature that most people achieve only through life experience.

Jorisch’s visual interpretation of the poem is both provocative and personal, and it incorporates a worldliness and familiarity with human nature that most people achieve only through life experience.

Publishers Weekly
Jorisch (Suki's Kimono) recasts Carroll's nonsense comedy as a dystopia, setting it in a claustrophobic city among grim-faced people. The introduction lends an ominous note to Carroll's "All mimsy were the borogroves,/ And the mome raths outgrabe." In a storefront window, rows of televisions display a news announcer in a military uniform. Three amputees, whose peg legs and patched winter coats imply wartime poverty, lean on crutches and watch the broadcast. In a local dress shop, another TV pictures some creature's dinosaur-like jaws, while a man in a peaked soldier's cap urges a tailor to "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!" The tailor becomes the unlikely hero: he takes his "vorpal blade in hand" and seeks his manxome foe in the tulgey wood. The Jabberwock never appears in its entirety, and a splash of blood suffices to indicate its offstage demise (however, the book closes with an image of three children poking at a squirrel-size, beheaded animal near a curb). Jorisch zeroes in on death and meditates on monstrosity. Not only is the title creature slain, but the funeral of the tailor's father closes the narrative. Like the satirical cartoons of Saul Steinberg or George Grosz, Jorisch's spidery ink-and-pencil images suggest conflict and absurd despair; his swooping bird's-eye views and unsettling world-gone-wrong themes echo the surreal work of Shawn Tan or Dave McKean. "Jabberwocky" is an ambiguous tale, but one with a generally upbeat ending. Jorisch leaches it of whimsy and emphasizes its darker side. Carroll fans will miss the original's nuanced playfulness. Ages 8-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Lewis Carroll's (1832-1898) "Jabberwocky" first appeared in Through the Looking Glass, but has since taken on a life of its own. It is a nonsense poem with many interpretations, one of the most interesting of which is Stéphane Jorisch's. An acclaimed Canadian illustrator, Jorisch has also created designs for the Cirque du Soleil. The Cirque's surrealistic influences are readily evident in Jorisch's graphic novelette set in an Orwellian future. Rendered in pencil, ink, watercolor, and Adobe Photoshop, his pictures narrate the quest of the hero for the beast, love, and his father's respect. The vision bursts off the pages in stark, dramatic, unforgettable images. This is a very impressive book—a booklover's book—made more so by the quality of its glossy pages, tasteful endpapers, and binding equal to a Folio Society volume. Kudos for "Visions in Poetry" and the affordable collectors' editions the series is producing for everyman. 2004, KCP Poetry/Kids Can Press, Ages 10 up.
—Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-Jorisch interprets "Jabberwocky" as "a provocative commentary on contemporary media, politics, warfare, religion and gender roles." The stark, dreamlike world shown in his pencil, ink, watercolor, and Adobe Photoshop illustrations is a blend of realism and the bizarre; haute couture and frump; past and future. Huge flowerlike funnels rise from stems in the ground and from pots in a store window. Microphones, video cameras, and a photographer record the quest for the Jabberwock, the ensuing battle, and the kill. The story depicted involves an old soldier who sends his son-a tailor-off to kill the nebulous enemy so that the older man can die in peace; the poem ends with his funeral. Jorisch's visual interpretation of the poem is both provocative and personal, and it incorporates a worldliness and familiarity with human nature that most people achieve only through life experience, making it most appropriate for adults. Joel Stewart's nonsensical illustrations for the poem (Candlewick, 2003) are more appropriate for younger children.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
It would be hard not to end up with an outstanding result when starting with such brilliant material as Carroll’s "Jabberwocky," but Stewart’s mixed-media illustrations suit the wry humor of this nonsense poem so perfectly it’s hard to imagine it being interpreted as well by anyone else since Tenniel himself. The wide, thin-lipped visage of the Jabberwock is particularly reminiscent of Tenniel’s drawings and provides a tribute to the definitive illustrator of Carroll’s work. But there are many original touches, such as the clockwork inner workings of the beast and the imagining of what exactly things like "slithy toves," "borogoves," and "mome raths" are (here, various imaginary forest denizens, some of them birdlike, who relax in hammocks and play accordions). The dusky palette of tan, olive, dusty purple, pale blue, and brick red outlined in thin brown lends an antique feel, as does the pseudo-medieval costume worn by the boy as he hunts the "maxnome foe." Far from being frightening, the Jabberwock is positively dapper in his top hat and high, stiff collar, and the fact that his insides are mechanical keeps his dismemberment from being gory. It’s helpful that the poem is printed in its entirety at the beginning, so readers and listeners can get their own imaginations started before digging in. This brilliantly original, yet respectful new rendering of an old favorite reminds those who’ve read it before of the infinite possibilities and pure fun in its interpretation, and will bring its delightful nonsense to a whole new audience. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781553370796
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Series:
Visions in Poetry Series
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
905,925
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.95(d)
Lexile:
390L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 15 Years

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