Z is for Chinese Zodiac. I always loved the story behind the Chinese Zodiac and I liked that all the signs were animals. It made it seem much friendlier. Seemingly unpleasant animals like pigs, rats and snakes get to shine. The only animal I object to is the Rooster – a hen doesn’t match the rooster’s characteristics. All in all, I much prefer them to their Western counterpart.

A is for Alice. I thought that Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There was much better than Alice in Wonderland. I think that it was because the game of chess imposed a little order on Carroll’s wild whimsy. Also, the whole sequence in which the hard glass becomes mist that leads you to another world – what could be more magical than that? The Jabberwocky poem prepared me for T. H. White’s Sword in the Stone. And Alice’s goal – to become queen – seemed better than her previous goal to reach the garden.


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