Book Beginnings Day Two With Kate Campbell
I imagine that right now you’re feeling a bit like Alice….
…You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. (Morpheus, The Matrix, 1999)
Written in 1865, Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland have had an amazing influence on art, literature, music, cinema, gaming and popular culture. It also had an influence on me.
When I was small – before I could read – one of the first big books I remember owning was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I came from a family of readers, for which I am always thankful. So as children we were read to often.
I remember being so eager to read, that I would look at the pictures at around 3 years old, try to remember what the words said and pretend I was reading by myself. I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t want to read.
Alice in Wonderland is a fantastical tale which kept me engrossed and I have read it many times. I once heard it described as “Rich in character, with very little plot” – and I thought, “It sounds like my life, no wonder I love it so much”.
I have often wondered if you need to begin reading this book as a child. I have talked to people who read it as adults and wonder what all the fuss is about. Perhaps we need the childlike wonder and love of nonsense and silliness that accompanies childhood to really appreciate the richness of Alice’s adventures.
As a young person I often wrote silly poems for my own enjoyment. My mother and paternal grandmother, were both fond of silly songs and they would sing with us as children. After I had children, I continued the nonsense rhymes and stories like those Lewis Carrol was often seen to add in his tales. It must have rubbed off because my daughter’s business and blog both have Wonderland in the title.
If books are an escape from real life, then Alice is the ultimate escape for me. Despite what many people say about childhood being the best years of your life, it can be tough and scary and difficult for many children. We all need a bit of silliness, a bit of fun, a bit of adventure.