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Alice in Beeland: A tale inspired by Lewis Carroll's Wonderland

Alice in Beeland

By Lillian Elizabeth Roy

New edition, 2012. Illustrations by Julia Greene. Cathair na Mart: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-78201-018-0 (paperback), price: €12.95, £10.95, $15.95.

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Lillian Elizabeth Roy was born Lillian Elizabeth Becker in 1868 and died in 1932. After her first book, Seedling’s Harvest (1910), she wrote a number of series for children, including the “Blue Birds” books, Blue Birds’ Uncle Ben (1917) and Blue Birds at Happy Hills (1919), and the “Wood­crafters” series, Woodcraft Girls at Camp (1916), Little Wood­crafter’s Book (1917), The Woodcrafter Girls in the City (1918), Woodcraft Boys at Sunset Island (1919), Little Woodcrafters Fun on the Farm (1928), Woodcraft Girls Camping in Maine (1928), and Woodcraft Boys in in the Rockies (1928). Roy also published a number of books featuring scouts: Natalie: A Garden Scout (1921), Girl Scouts in Arizona and New Mexico (1923), Janet: a Stock-Farm Scout (1925), Norma: A Flower Scout (1925), and Girl Scouts in Glacier Park (1928). Other books written by Roy are Five Little Stars in Hawaii (1919), The Little Washingtons’ Holidays (1925), Noah’s Ark: The Deluge of Atlantis (1928), The Adventures of Snooki and Snak (1928), and The Adventures of Sonny and Sue (1928). Alice in Beeland was written in 1919.

Roy is best known for her “Polly Brewster” series of books, published between 1922 and 1930—an interesting series about a strong-headed girl who early on declaims on the rights of women, before heading out on many adventures around the world. The “Polly Brewster” series comprised 15 volumes, the first five of which were themselves all published in 1922, beginning with Polly of Pebbly Pit (1922). Most of these were illustrated by H. S. Barbour: Polly and Eleanor (1922), Polly in New York (1922), Polly and Her Friends Abroad (1922). Polly’s Business Venture (1922), Polly’s Southern Cruise (1923), Polly in South America (1924), Polly in the Southwest (1925), Polly in Alaska (1926), Polly in the Orient (1927), Polly in Egypt (1928), Polly’s New Friend (1929), and Polly and Carola (1930). Later books were illustrated by Russell H. Tandy: Polly Learns to Fly (1930), Polly and Carola at Raven­wood (1931).

Julia Greene illustrated a number of books for the publishers Cupples & Leon, beginning with the “Make Believe” series in 1917, comprising three volumes she wrote and illustrated—Miss Patty Peep, Whiffet Squirrel, and The Yaller Dog—and one volume written by Helen Pettes—The Mouse’s Tail. In 1917 Greene and Pettes also collaborated together on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with Cut-Out Pictures, just two years before Alice in Beeland was published. Other Cupples & Leon publications illustrated by Greene are a series of five books by Josephine Lawrence—Brother and Sister (1921), Brother and Sister’s Schooldays (1921), Brother and Sister’s Holidays (1921), Brother and Sister’s Vacation (1922), Brother and Sister at Bayport (1927), and Brother and Sister Keep House (1927)—as well as the fourteen volumes of the “Curlytop” series (published 1918 through 1932) by Howard R. Garis, who was most famous for his “Uncle Wiggily” series.


Alice was then shown a tiny pool of water that had collected on a plantain-leaf and provided an excellent bath. After she had refreshed herself by splashing in the cool water, she flew with Buzz to the clover-field where plenty of food was to be had for the seeking. On the way there, Buzz told the little girl all about the discoveries in the hive.

“Dear me! What will you do to save the colony?” asked Alice, shocked at the news of the plot.

“I’m going to find Madam Zumm first of all and tell her what the surveying-bee said; then I will do as she advises.”

“Whatever you do, will you let me go with you?” asked Alice eagerly.

“Yes, if you promise not to become tired before the day is over.”

“Oh, I wo’n’t—not with these new wings, you know,” said Alice, delightedly.


HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 73 Woodgrove, Portlaoise, R32 ENP6, Ireland, 2012-12-01

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