BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Return to Wonderland (available to pre-order here)
Authors: The collection includes short stories by Peter Bunzl, Pamela Butchart, Maz Evans, Swapna Haddow, Patrice Lawrence, Chris Smith, Robin Stevens, Lauren St John, Lisa Thompson, Piers Torday and Amy Wilson
Illustrator: Laura Barrett
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: 27th June 2019
Most Suitable for: KS2
Reviewed By: Nathan Wilcox (@thenathwilcox), Primary School Teacher
In ‘Return to Wonderland’, we revisit some of the most memorable and well-loved characters from Lewis Carroll’s original, as we engage with these quirky characters in a completely new collection of stories.
These vignettes each have a different author and explore, on the whole, completely different characters from the Wonderland world; yet the collection manages to deliver a strong sense of cohesion throughout. Despite there being no direct link from one story to the next, the book feels like we have taken on the role of Alice herself and are exploring Wonderland for ourselves in a completely new way.
For fans of the original, the book is brilliant, as it makes links and connections from some of the most well-known characters like the Mad Hatter, to some of the less well-known such as the Mock Turtle. Nevertheless, whether a reader of the original or not, the book still has so much to offer. The characters of Wonderland transcend the original piece so much that reading the stories within this book would still be highly enjoyable.
Where this book stands out for me is its accessibility. With such a range of high profile children’s authors, this book has something for everyone. I must admit, I have not read previous work from every author within this collection so being introduced to new authors was a bonus. This feature ensures that fans of the contributing authors can also explore new authors through the book which, as a teacher, could open up a whole new collection of stories for pupils to discover.
The stories from Wonderland are as equally entertaining now as they were over 150 years ago. This collection pays a terrific tribute to Lewis Carroll’s classic and works in tandem with the original as a befitting accompaniment. We get the feeling there is still so much more to discover in Wonderland and that these stories are giving us a peek into a world still waiting to be explored!
You can pre-order Return to Wonderland online or from your local bookshop or library.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us an advanced review copy of this book and to Nathan for reviewing it.