by Philadelphia's Please Touch Museum, one of the oldest children's
museums in the country, the sculpture "Alice" is a lifesize
four and a half foot Alice in Wonderland. Alice stands slightly
bent over a low stool-like-box upon which rests an open book with
her quote: "What's the use of a book without pictures or conversation?"
holds a pack of cards in her right hand. The visible bottom card
has a sketch of the Queen of Hearts whom Alice meets on her adventures.
Around the base of the box are four scenes in relief based on John
Teniel's illustrations from the book. The relief closest to Alice
is a bit of a puzzle and difficult to discern. The viewer, child
or adult, must look hard to find the smiling Cheshire Cat in a tree.
Children enjoy standing on the book and holding Alice's hand; they
like putting their arms around her neck. They get on their stomachs
to look at and feel the reliefs. They love standing on the book
and jumping to the ground.
The sculpture of "Alice" invites play, encourages discussion,
and is fun for children and adults.