On her visit to Wonderland, when Alice picks up a bottle labeled “Drink me,” she looks to see if it’s marked “poison,” “because she had read several nice little histories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts, and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them.”
Until the mid-19th century, most children’s literature treated young people as adults-in-training, to be constantly bombarded with facts and moral lessons. Alice in Wonderland was a new sort of children’s book, written with no other goal than to entertain.
It seems fitting that Jose de Creeft designed this sculpture of Alice so that kids could climb, perch, and dangle on it. His figures are based on the illustrations by John Tenniel for the first edition of Alice.
The Hatter bears a strong resemblance to George Delacorte (6/20/1894-5/4/1991). Delacorte donated the Alice sculpture to Central Park in honor of his late wife, Margarita, who loved reading the Alice stories to their children. The 6 plaques around the base of the sculpture are Margarita’s favorite bits from Alice’s adventures.