Much to my eternal chagrin, I missed the official 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland last Thursday (it was published November 26, 1865)!
While I know I read Alice when I was younger, it wasn't until I re-read it for a children's literature course in university that I really appreciated it.
What is it about Alice that appeals to so many? For me, it's the whimsical elements: the creatures and characters inspired by real people in Alice Liddell's life, the illogical logic of the whole story, the quotable moments. The fact that it's both childish and yet grown-ups can relate to it. The imagery in general - clocks and tea and Victorian things and the bright colours that are normally used in Alice-inspired art (which is my favourite type of art).
I don't remember it that well anymore, but I definitely watched the animated Disney special as a child. I like that the movie combines aspects from both the original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the sequel Through the Looking-Glass, such as Tweedledum and Tweedledee. And, of course, I love the Tim Burton version, which imagines an older Alice (I'm so stoked for the sequel!).
And, because I'm secretly a child trapped in a 20-something body, I have to draw your attention to the fabulous side story in the Ever After High franchise, the Way too Wonderland series. Focusing on the children of our beloved Wonderland characters, it's creative and awesome and I might have a tiny crush on Alistair Wonderland (don't try and tell me you've never had a crush on an animated character).
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland speaks to my imaginative side, the nonsensical part of me that would rather fantasize than do actual work. It's a celebration of imagination and dreams, and I love it.