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100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

Unfortunate Covers (#8)

It’s been a little bit since our last Unfortunate Cover, so take a look at past picks if you need your memory jogged: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7.

Our latest entry into the series is so unappealing, it almost doesn’t deserve comment. Almost! One of the schools where I work is putting on a used book sale later this month, and students have been encouraged to bring in donations. When I saw this one come in, I knew that it would repel readers far and wide:


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

This is certainly unfortunate. If you’ve been looking for a way to inspire someone to not read Lewis Carroll’s classic, place this anywhere in their field of vision. But more offensive than the 2 for $1 “sticker” (that is actually part of the cover), more disturbing than the stiff, dated, oil painting of the main characters is the fact that Alice kinda looks like a 30 year old dude with a wig. Let’s take a closer look:


Let me know if I’m wrong about this one.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Oh, these are not so bad. I have some that are REALLY unfortunate. Or rather, I had. Covers were really appalling in the 80s and 90s, and thankfully have improved a LOT. Thanks for the laugh!

  2. There’s something very manly about this Alice. I noticed it right off.

  3. Oh, no, you’re definitely right on this one. The mad hatter also looks extraordinarily creepy, and not in a good way.

  4. Agree, this is wrong.

    Also, I always thought the March Hare was kind of brownish. But he’s white on this cover. Which makes me confuse him with the White Rabbit!

  5. Appears to be a poorly costumed/set designed, junior high self-done drama class production!

  6. I want to put this up on my wall.

  7. Possibly on my boyfriend’s side of the bedroom, out of jealousy at how much more easily he falls asleep than I do. This will fix that!

  8. Scope Notes says:

    I agree that covers as a whole are better than when this one came out. It’s funny to think that (in a decade or two) we’ll cringe at the covers of 2009. Odd how tastes change over time.

  9. Scope Notes says:

    Agreed. It’s kinda like the artist got a couple of odd friends to pose awkwardly for a few hours while she/he painted them. I wholeheartedly approve of the wonderfully bad results.

  10. Scope Notes says:

    It took me a second, but it seems to be pretty clear – something isn’t right with Alice.

  11. Scope Notes says:

    Will it be in your uninvited guestroom?


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