A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Is it any good?
With broad strokes, bright colors, and words that shout from the page, the inner city summer comes alive in this reinvention of the Jabberwocky. When Alice first heard the Jabberwocky in Through the Looking Glass, she didn't know what to think. "It seems very pretty ... but it's rather hard to understand!" she commented. And, most readers would agree, even in this new modern version set on an inner city basketball court. But somehow, through the rhythms and with a little help from the illustrations, even the youngest reader will get it.
In this version, re-imagined by the award-winning talent of Christopher Myers, nonsense makes sense. Though the words don't always fit the story perfectly, the rhythms pull them through, and Lewis Carroll's poem takes on the personality of an energetic rap song. And the basketball court seems the perfect setting. The 14-fingered basketball player who dominates the courts as well as the entire playground is as scary a Jabberwock monster as could be imagined. And, after the "beamish" boy challenges, and beats, him, the neighborhood celebrates: CALLOOH! CALLAY! as the hero struts off "chort[ling] in his joy."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families will enjoy reading and re-reading this poem book, which lends itself to dramatic play and surprising interpretation. What exactly is a "jabberwocky?" Or, for that matter, what do any of the other words mean? Besides discussing the nonsensical words, note the rhythms. And, of course, play with the basic question: How can we follow the story that is told in words we don't understand?