Christopher Myers's take on the greatest nonsense verse in the English-speaking worlda basketball face-offcombines 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
…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
Stewart's (The Adventures of a Nose) mixed media art is as winsome, witty and wacky as Carroll's tongue-tripping poem, which first appeared in the pages of Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There in 1872. The opening spread features the entire poem on one page, opposite a sepia-toned, Edward Gorey-esque portrait of a boy dancing on the arm of the chair in which his proper father sits holding a large open book on his lap. A flip of the page catapults readers into the land of the Jabberwock (" 'Twas brillig...), in living color. The verse continues, line by line: vest-wearing, long-tailed "slithy toves" frolic among the trees and blue-beak-nosed "borogoves" swing peacefully in hammocks while fairy-like "mome raths outgrabe" (or play musical instruments, according to Stewart's interpretation). Signs posted on trees ("Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!") as well as a background image of the wide-mouthed villain, with red-and-white striped tail and lips, hint at the trouble to come. Alas, the cherubic child from the opening portrait, here bedecked in striped pantaloons and helmet, uses his sword masterfully to slay the creature (who turns out to be robotic, not flesh and blood). The young hero then goes "galumphing back" to celebrate with the slithy toves before nodding off with the borogoves, as narrative and visuals return to their idyllic starting point. A fittingly fanciful interpretation of this classic nonsense verse. Ages 4-7. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
PreS-Gr 4-Carroll's classic nonsense poem gets a fresh visual interpretation here. In a series of spreads, a child mounts his quest for the fearsome Jabberwock in an "other" world in keeping with the delicious unknown conjured up on first hearing, "'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves-." After a glimpse of the hero, the real world shows up in the form of facing oval frames-one containing the poem, the other a Victorian father-and-son read-aloud scene. But from then on, with a few lines of the poem per page, children enter a spare landscape of rattan-printed trees, postage-stamp-sized art, and full-color ink-and-watercolor creatures whose simple, almost cartoonish look echoes Edward Lear's comic sketches. The uncluttered composition of these pages leaves plenty of room for Carroll's words to do their work. Printed in uppercase, in a faintly rune-ish serif typeface, they gyre and gimble, whiffle and burble cleanly across the page. Stewart has not paid precise attention to Humpty Dumpty's explication of the poem as it originally appears in Through the Looking-Glass, but he has captured that wordmeister's affinity for conglomeration and arbitrary meaning, creating his own odd creatures to inhabit Carroll's perfect peculiarities. The slightly removed tone is maintained by a climactic twist: when the vorpal blade snicker-snacks "through and through," the beast's innards are revealed to be mechanical-clockwork springs and gears. Other illustrated editions worth considering-Graeme Base's (Abrams, 1989) signature packed pages or Jane Breskin Zalben's (Warne, 1977; o.p.) delicately detailed watercolors-hew more closely to Humpty Dumpty's definitions, but this new version is a good choice for a younger audience, nicely conveying the lighthearted mysteriousness of the poem.-Nancy Palmer, The Little School, Bellevue, WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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)
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.