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When she follows the White Rabbit down his rabbit hole, Alice finds herself in a strange and enchanted land. Wonderland is filled with curious creatures, but when Alice takes on the Queen of Hearts in a croquet match, she soon learns that this magical land is not what it first appeared to be.
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Readers will be astonished by every tableau in this pop-up extravaganza. The initial spread explodes into a surprisingly tall green forest, topped by billowing leafy shapes that resemble the Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts. On the lawn below, in papery 3D, Alice scurries about while the White Rabbit checks his pocket watch. Along the left-hand border of the book, a series of narrow flaps present an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's text. These pages-within-pages feature pop-ups of a green bottle ("Drink me") that shrinks Alice, a cake that makes her a giant and Alice swimming in "the pool of tears that she had wept when she was nine feet high." Finally, an accordion-pleated square in the lower right corner expands into a long, vertical rabbit hole; through its circular window, Alice can be seen falling, as if into a well. And that's only the beginning. Subsequent stages of this moveable feast include a wiggly Alice grown too large for the White Rabbit's house; a Mad Tea Party with shining silver-foil tea service (the March Hare and Mad Hatter dunk the Dormouse in a teapot); and Alice waving her arms as the Queen and her court, transformed to a "pack of cards," arch over her head like a rainbow. Those who know the story can best negotiate this wonderland, for the narrative gets a bit lost in the visual dimensions. Sabuda, who also has adapted The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, borrows from the Tenniel illustrations, but pares them down and drenches them with violet, fuschia, gold and green hues. His paper engineering snaps solidly into place, and elements like the Cheshire Cat's unfolding face are both startling and beautiful; and the pack of cards rising up into the air will have the audience studying how Sabuda created the effect of scattering and tumbling. A Jabberwocky cheer of "O frabjous day! Calloo, callay!" seems appropriate for this salute to Carroll's classic. All ages.