Drunk on children’s lit

Children’s and YA books are just plain strange. I was reminded of that this week, when I saw that Johnny Depp will be starring in a sequel to Alice in Wonderland, a movie I will not be seeing. Don’t get me wrong, I love Johnny Depp. He is a beautiful and talented piece of “man-candy,” and I even devoted most of my highschool free time (cuz my friends and I were the cool kids…) to watching every movie Johnny Depp ever starred in. FIY: He’s been in a lot of movies, and half of them are god-awful. Image

However, as I said, I won’t be seeing this movie. Not because my love of Johnny has waned or that I think the movie will be awful, but rather, because Alice in Wonderland scares the living daylights out of me. Or rather should I say scares the living-nights of out me.

This trippy, old foray into children’s literature, has since age 9, given me the same horrifyingly odd recurring nightmare (Involving Santa getting kidnapped, an evil replacement and bombs at my grade school, amongst other things.) Reading the book. Seeing a movie version. Doesn’t matter. Any in-depth mention of the story, triggers this nightmare.

I think, sometimes, for as protective as people are of children that certain books have slipped through the cracks to become classics and become a standard for children even if the story is horrifying. I don’t think this is a bad thing, just funny, considering how hard many people have tried to clean-up children’s stories. (Oh Grimm’s and Hans Christian Andersen sadly, most of your stories didn’t make the cut, but, of course, in the end, most of us find out Ariel offs herself and Cinderella’s step sister’s get their eyes pecked out by birds….).

Which is why, this week, on the news of this movie, I found this article from Barnes N Nobles especially amusing, 5 children books that makes me feel that I’m drunk. Alice in Wonderland is my drunk book, an odd, trippy sort of story which upon reflection, almost seems unwarranted for children but has still become a favorite. (My runner up is Cat in the Hat.)

What your favorite trippy children’s story?

18 comments on “Drunk on children’s lit

  1. Have you ever read Peter Pan? James Barrie makes some of Grimms’ tales look tame. Everyone in that story is on a mission to kill everyone else. And let’s not forget that Tinkerbell tries to kill Wendy early on.

    Erm…Hans Christian Andrew? Don’t you mean Andersen?

  2. My favourite trippy children’s story was always The Velveteen Rabbit – it stressed me out so badly as a child that I ended up sleeping with 22 stuffed animals because I didn’t want any of them to feel unloved! This was a great post, it definitely got me thinking about how ridiculous some children’s lit is!

  3. Any Dr. Seuss.book. My parents told me that I loved Green Eggs and Ham but now that I have a child, every time I pick up a Dr Seuss book with the intention of checking it out from the library I end up putting it back. My child isn’t scared of much but if the illustrations in those books freak me out, I’m pretty sure they will freak her out too.

  4. Hilarious. Sandra Boynton’s “Moo Baa La La La” was like mainlining ethanol.

    “A cow says MOO.”
    “A sheep says BAA.”
    “Three singing pigs say LA LA LA!”
    “‘No, no!’ you say, ‘that isn’t right.
    The pigs say OINK all day and night.'”

  5. Cinderella is my absolute favorite. They did a few remakes on it but the one I enjoyed the most was with Brandy and Whitney Houston. But, there is nothing like a classic. Yea, I thought the Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp was a bit different. It didn’t fit the overall theme to me.

  6. Definitely concur with Alice in Wonderland (and all of the Lewis- Rev. Dodgson -Carroll material associated with it that I’ve read) being my favourite children’s story of madness. ‘The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar’ takes 2nd place. 🙂

  7. Although I didn’t encounter it until I watched the movie as an adult, Guardians of Ga’Hoole is one crazy kids story. Totally serious owls with swords and child workcamps? Thaaaat’s just a little bit trippy. Great story, though.

  8. 101 Dalmatians, oddly enough. And this was before I was an adult and paid attention to the name,Cruella de Vil, Only when I saw it written down did I actually realise what it meant.
    Just call me slow….

  9. I’m trying to think of one but I’m drawing a blank, so I’ll borrow your second answer. Cat in the Hat! Seriously the first time I watched that film, I was with my nieces and nephew–while they were enjoying this crazy ride, I just sat there trying to understand the mayhem.

    I’ve learned to enjoy that experience now.

  10. A Light in the Attic – seriously, the cover illustration alone is evidence of some kind of special blend in use. And the artwork throughout was deliciously bizarre. But yeah, Dr. Seuss and Lewis Carroll are great choices as well..

  11. Sylvie and Bruno, Another Lewis Carroll book was fairly trippy, I felt that there must have been loads of hallucinations going on in that. Some of the Narnia stuff is pretty mental as well, Mugglewumps and the like. Bring back the 1950’s Alice cartoon that was the definite in my opinion.

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