Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Our rating: ****

A young girl named Alice sees a mysterious white rabbit one day and follows it through a rabbit burrow into a magical and somewhat strange land. Cakes and drinks that change her size, a Hatter and a March Hare, a baby that is literally a pig, and conversations with walking packs of cards confront Alice as she makes her way through Wonderland.

The cards are quite fun. They play a game of croquet with Alice using flamingoes and hedgehogs as mallet and ball! I found the court scene amusing. This is a sort of book that doesn’t really explain things. It’s a string of strange adventures, but still enjoyable. By the way, a pun with the Mock Turtle struck me as funny. I found this book pretty good, and perhaps some day I will read the sequel, Through The Looking Glass.

Watership Down

Our rating: ****½

Warned by a prophetic rabbit named Fiver, Hazel leads a group of rabbits out of his doomed warren to start a new life. However, even though they make it away safely, it will take all of their cunning and skill to keep the new warren on Watership Down thriving. In order not to die off, a group of rabbits are sent to bring back does (female rabbits) from the nearby warren of Efrafa. But the Efrafens are tough, military rabbits, and only a cunning trick will bring the does back safely.

Wonderful! The story of Hazel, Fiver, and their friends is one you won’t forget easily. Every page is interesting and vividly real. My only problem was that the rabbits would sometimes speak in a special rabbit language, which required flipping to the glossary to find the meanings of words. But this minor detail is easily taken care of by the end of the book, because Watership Down is so long, you’ll probably have most of the rabbit language memorized by the final chapters. Great to read out loud, and a must-read by my standards!

Henry Reed, Inc.

Our rating: ****

Henry Reed’s father is an American diplomat to Italy, so Henry hasn’t ever seen the USA. This year, his Uncle Al and Aunt Mabel invite him to stay in Grover’s Corner, New Jersey, for his summer vacation. Being an industrious young man, Henry and the neighbor girl, Midge, start a research firm, Henry Reed, Inc. But Midge isn’t a full partner until she can catch the rabbit she promised to the firm. Henry thinks catching it will be easy, but this bunny has a mind of its own!

Henry Reed, Inc. is a hilarious string of events, some resulting from the pursuit of the rabbit. Henry and Midge also have to battle the grumpy Apples, the next door neighbors to the firm, making for even more fun. The silliness continues in four more books about Henry’s attempts to make money during the summer.