Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Celebrating Lewis Carroll's Birthday

Did you know today was beloved author Lewis Carroll's birthday?

We here at Please Touch Museum were very excited to celebrate the birthday of Alice in Wonderland's author, Lewis Carroll! He was born on January 27th of 1832, which would make 2010 his 178th birthday.

Lewis Carroll was actually the pen name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, an Oxford graduate and a published academic in the fields of geometry and mathematical logic. His penchant for mathematical and logical puzzles greatly influenced his artistic work. He produced a large quantity of poetry and prose works throughout his lifetime, including the narrative poem The Hunting of the Snark and the novel Sylvie and Bruno, but it is for his 1865 story Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its 1872 sequel, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, that he is most well known.

Carroll's style was highly original in the field of children's literature at the time, and, along with the work of Edward Lear, was influential to the 'nonsense' school of verse. The story has influenced countless authors and artists since its publication and has been adapted for theater and film many times – most recently Tim Burton's forthcoming film, to be released on March 15th of this year. Alice's story, and its characters, have become culturally pervasive to the extent that they would be easily recognizable by someone who has never even read the story.

True to the literary spirit of this day, we celebrated in our brand new Story Castle! Some of our favorite characters from Carroll's book stopped by, too: The Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and Alice herself! We also read from Jon Sciezcka and Mary Blair’s adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, as Carroll's original text is quite long, and may be too advanced for some of our younger visitors.

You can also visit our Wonderland exhibit, to play and reenact some of your favorite scenes from this wonderful book.

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Join Pinky, one of Please Touch Museum's resident puppets, on an inside look into all the fun, educational things happening at Philly's Children's Museum. This blog is not just about what we do at the museum, but about the educational philosophy behind why we do what we do.