Alice’s Adventures Under Water by Lenny de Rooy

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Alice’s Adventures Under Water by Lenny de Rooy
Publisher: Millennyum Publications
Genre: Middle Grade (8 – 12 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Historical
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

If you enjoyed Lewis Carroll’s books “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There”, this is the book for you! Finally, there is a third story in the ‘Alice’ series – written in Carroll’s familiar style, but packed with a great number of completely new puns, parodies, and poetry. This time, Alice explores an under-water world, in which she meets new characters who again make her wonder about their strange logic and behaviour. The story can be enjoyed by everyone, even those who have never read Carroll’s books. However, the more familiar you are with them, the more references you will recognise in this exceptionally clever tale…

Anything can happen during a boat ride.

The storyline was every bit as delightful and occasionally nonsensical as I was hoping it would be. Honestly, many of the chapters could have worked as standalone stories, and yet they still all came together in the end to explore deeper subjects that kids might not quite understand yet but adults would pick up on.

Ms. de Rooy captured the essence of Alice and her adventures beautifully. This tale contained all of the magic that was included in the original Alice books. I especially loved the subtle modern twists the author added in her references to public figures, songs, and more. She struck the perfect balance between copying the original tone of this series and including things that would appeal to the sensibilities of twenty-first century readers.

I was thrilled to see how many different age groups this was written for. It’s not easy to write for middle schoolers, teenagers, and adults simultaneously, but the author did a wonderful job of speaking to all three of these groups by including multiple levels of meaning in her writing. This was something I’d love to read aloud to a classroom or at an extended family reunion. It truly had something for everyone.

One of my favorite things to do while reading this story was to take note of as many cultural references as I could find and find out where they came from. It certainly wasn’t necessary to figure out all or even any of them, but it was a great deal of fun to determine which classic poems inspired a lighthearted underwater version of itself here or why certain characters had such unusual names.

Alice’s Adventures Under Water was an incredible adventure I’d recommend to kids and adults alike.

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