3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
I've heard Heaven referred to as many things - Utopia, Nirvana, Paradise, The Promised Land - but never as "God's Wonderland." Well, in Clark and Lourine Gist's book, young Alice does indeed go to God's Wonderland, though without dying. On second thought, perhaps the land of wonder in Alice in God's Wonderland is supposed to represent Purgatory or something like that, though again, minus the death part.
Teeming with familiar characters, this interesting children's book somewhat follows the original Alice's path but with all the creatures acknowledging and praising God's place in their lives. From the knights shaped like Bibles to the mindful Cheshire cat named Cheddar, everyone in this Wonderland has faith and encourages Alice to believe as well. There are also themes of altruism and forgiveness. Since the book is only 84 pages long, not all of the original players are present, so I missed some of them, but I don't think the book suffers because of their absences. I was somewhat reminded of The Wizard of Oz, too, as Alice met fantastical creatures that served as her escorts and was reminded to keep to a certain path, though not a yellow brick road.
I thought this story was a delightful way to teach children about the Father's place in one's life without being preachy or heavy handed. I imagine that Christian parents could read along with their youngster(s), following along with the Bible verses and discussing the context of the words in the Word. I also really liked that even the Mad Hatter had faith, and I wondered if it was a hidden message that even people with mental and physical challenges can be filled with faith.
The pictures in Alice in God's Wonderland are very nice as well. Each drawing takes up a full page and perfectly captures what is happening in the story. I will say, though, I would have preferred that each picture come after the action rather than the pictures preceding their places in the story, but that's my own personal nitpick. Additionally, one character's tie is not drawn as the "string tie” that the text claims it to be. Still, I don't think that the target audience will notice such minutiae.
As wonderful as I found this version of Wonderland to be, I am rating the book 3 out of 4 stars. The tome had far too many grammatical errors and formatting issues (including two blank pages) for a children's book. Even though I hesitate to recommend a book with so many typographical issues for the young, in this case, I think the spiritual lessons far outweigh the negatives. I therefore recommend this book for children and tweens, Christian parents, and Sunday School teachers. Parents of other faiths, or even no faiths, may also want to allow their children to explore this version of Wonderland.
- Cheddar, Alice in God’s WonderlandIf you follow the Bible, you will find even more of God’s Wonderland.
Alice in God's Wonderland
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes