Posted by: Meg Hunt
Book: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (purchase on Amazon)
Happy May, everyone! We’re starting another month of Picture Book Report, aren’t you excited? I know I am….
(this gets a lot bigger, just so you know! I didn’t think about how little it’d look on the blog… needless to say please click it!)
The next stop in Wonderland is the abode of that White Rabbit, and Alice sure doesn’t look too thrilled to be stuck inside!
Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on growing, and growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head. Still she went on growing, and, as a last resource, she put one arm out of the window, and one foot up the chimney, and said to herself `Now I can do no more, whatever happens. What will become of me?’…
…She waited for some time without hearing anything more: at last came a rumbling of little cartwheels, and the sound of a good many voices all talking together: she made out the words: `Where’s the other ladder?–Why, I hadn’t to bring but one; Bill’s got the other–Bill! fetch it here, lad!–Here, put ’em up at this corner–No, tie ’em together first–they don’t reach half high enough yet–Oh! they’ll do well enough; don’t be particular– Here, Bill! catch hold of this rope–Will the roof bear?–Mind that loose slate–Oh, it’s coming down! Heads below!’ (a loud crash)–`Now, who did that?–It was Bill, I fancy–Who’s to go down the chimney?–Nay, I shan’t! You do it!–That I won’t, then!–Bill’s to go down–Here, Bill! the master says you’re to go down the chimney!’
I picked a moment in this before Alice basically boots the poor lizard Bill– I feel for the little guy. The White Rabbit holds power over some of these animals (whether they’re his employees or just weakwilled is unclear) and Bill winds up being the fall guy in this situation. None of them are thrilled by the concept of a giantess or beast stuck in that house though, so obviously Bill has every right to be afraid! I took some license and made him a chameleon– trying to camouflage himself to hide from the threat of Alice. Of course we all know it doesn’t work, but at least he’s trying!
The White Rabbit’s house was inspired by wooden-cladding houses and sod roofs, though I bet if the Rabbit had his way he’d plant some lettuce and carrots up there. Instead he just waits and watches the clock while Bill sees to his fate. He’s a busy fellow, after all. I’m tempted to revisit this scene as a two part image– the exterior house and then the interior cutaway. Maybe later!
Tomorrow we’ll see a new scene from Will Bryant! Stay tuned!