This week I bring you a classic story, but not in a book, in a box. Laurence Kings’s Alice in Wonderland Story Box lets children retell Lewis Carroll’s classic, whilst making an 8-foot-long story in the process. I reviewed a similar product back in 2016 and this one is just as much fun, with the bonus, of being set in Wonderland.
What Is the Alice in Wonderland Story Box?
The Story Box is a pictorial retelling of the classic story, but it’s in no way traditional. First, there’s the art. Artist Ann Laval has updated the story to a city setting, complete with a cake shop, mobile phones, and hot dog carts. The Queen of Hearts drives a limo, the White Rabbit drops his cellphone, and the Cheshire Cat drives a taxi. (“You talking to me? – I have no idea, I can’t see you.”) Lots of classic Alice references are here too. There are holes to fall in, tea to drink, flamingos, and cakes that make Alice grow and shrink.
Rather than tell a linear tale, (which you can still do), the Story Box cuts things into 40 pieces, that can then be rearranged. There are 20 jigsaw pieces in all, each of which is double-sided. The idea is for you and your children to combine the pieces in any way you wish to tell a new version of the story. There is one starting piece and three end pieces, giving 6 alternate endings and 32 other pictures to fill out the story in between.
Overall, the completed jigsaw will stretch to over 8 feet.
Why Use the Alice in Wonderland Storybox?
These story boxes are a great way to tell visual stories. Laurence King has a few other themes available, including the soon to be needed ghost story box, for Halloween. The cards don’t quite have the flexibility of story dice, but some children (like mine) struggle with the open-ended nature of those. The story box cards give young storytellers more to work with; strong visual hooks in which to create their tales. It’s also fun to chop and change around the pieces or turn them over to see what story alternatives that throws up.
The pictures are simple and clean, with enough little bits going on in the background, allowing older children and adults to work in extra bits of story for a more complicated/off the wall tale. The card stock is excellent. These puzzle pieces are made from strong card and they fit together easily and stay together too, so there shouldn’t be any frustration caused by pieces not connecting properly.
There isn’t really very much else to say. The cards don’t have the versatility of story dice, after all, they are all premised around a single story and it’s tricky to deviate too far from that. Nevertheless, the Alice in Wonderland Story Box is a great way to encourage children to tell stories and teach them about story structure. What happens if your story doesn’t have a middle or if you put the end before the beginning? Can you tell a story backwards? All great fun for budding storytellers.
These cards look amazing and can introduce your children to the wonders of Lewis Carroll and the beauty of telling stories. What more could you ask for?
If you enjoyed this post do check out my other Word Wednesday reviews.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this product in order to write this review.