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Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 9 to 12.
Posing as an Historian Emeritus, MacKenzie has placed an official letter inside the front cover of the book explaining that she has found the journal written by Princess Alyss, the true Alice in Wonderland, and that Charles Dodgson betrayed the young princess in his famous books. The title page warns readers that only those who wish to know the truth should continue. The princess is introduced as HRI (Her Royal Imaginer). The journal begins on Valentine's Day, 1863, four years after Alyss escaped from Wonderland on her seventh birthday, due to the threat of a ferocious cat and her Evil Aunt Redd. Dashing through a looking glass and falling into The Pool of Tears, she suddenly appears on the streets of London. She is found with some street urchins and taken to the Charing Cross Orphanage. Soon thereafter she is adopted into the unimaginative Liddell family. Thinking Dodgson is a true friend who understands her plight, she tells him her life story, but he gets it all wrong when he writes it down. The pages of this oversize book are very "busy" with journal entries, notes from MacKenzie, colorful illustrations, sketches, documents, maps, small envelopes containing notes, and black-and-white photographs. Most of the text is written in script, with varying font sizes adding to the overall confusion. The audience for the book is not clear. The padded cover and the removable pieces would not be practical for library collections. Perhaps adults who are fond of Alice will want to share this alternative view of Alyss with specific children. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.