One of the things that I enjoyed most about going to Heroescon was getting to meet all of the different artists whose work I’ve been admiring for a while now. Folks like Stan Lee, Jill Thompson, and Janet Lee–the brilliant artist behind the art for the Return of the Dapper Men. Her style is just so fresh and different that I was completely blown away by it when I read Return of the Dapper Men. And so I had a chance to ask her about it at Heroecon and she told me how she draws it out, colors it, paints a piece of wood (yes wood) and decoupages it all together to just create this fantastic piece. She even had a few pieces there which were awesome (and sadly no I didn’t get one.) And while I was talking with her, her booth partner, Altethea, introduced me to this little book that the two of them had created together called the Wonderland Alphabet.
Obviously I was immediately intrigued by it since Janet did the artwork, but that wouldn’t make a complete book now would it? Alethea’s verses for this are pitch perfect for not only teaching the alphabet, but also teaching about Alice in Wonderland. Which may seem a bit weird for a young kid, but you can also just focus on the letters and what they stand for, such as “G is for Garden” vs the whole verse (teens and older will love the verses though.) Alethea manages to distill the gist of Alice in Wonderland into short wonderful verses that make me want to go back and read the book again, which is one of the best compliments I can offer.
I’ve already mentioned the artwork, which I greatly enjoy obviously, but there are some highlights to point out. While I liked the depictions of Alice and the various characters, what really intrigued me here were the letters themselves. Instead of creating a plain old letter, Janet mixed illustrations into the inside of it to give it an added bonus. Each of the letters has illustrations of flowers creating a garden within the alphabet. I think one of the best moments of the conversation that I had with the two of them was when Alethea started pointing out which pieces were done with paint from her house and she could even tell me which rooms the paint came from. It was an enjoyable conversation and I hope I have a chance to talk to these two again and see more work from them.
So if you’re tired of the boring alphabet books out there then follow the white rabbit down the hole to give this book a try. You won’t regret it.
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