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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: C. S. Lewis / Edition: No UK Rights / Paperback / Reading Level: Ages 9-12 / 208 Pages / Book is published 2005-11-01 by ZonderKidz

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      20.03.2012 09:33
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      A tale of good triumphing over evil from the golden age of children's literature.

      The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the archetypal children's story. It is the novel which should act as a blueprint for all children's literature.

      I came to this bold conclusion on reading C S Lewis' classic tale for the umpteenth time recently. I was struck by what a clever balance of imagination, mortality and adventure this book has. In fact if you took each of these qualities in the quantities they appear in the book and poured them into a child, you would have the perfect little human being.

      First to the plot. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe follows the adventures of four children - Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy - who are evacuated to an old house in the country during the war. They explore the house on a wet and miserable day and come across the spare room with only a wardrobe inside. All the children dismiss this room as having nothing to offer except Lucy who is intrigued by the wardrobe. She lingers behind and goes to look inside and so stumbles into Narnia.

      The first Narnian she meets is Mr Tumnus who invites her to tea. He plays Lucy a tune on his flute which sends her to sleep. On waking, she finds Mr Tumnus distraught and he reveals he is in the pay of the White Witch. He was to take any 'daughter of Eve' or son of Adam' he met, to her. He explains the White Witch is extremely wicked and it is she who ensures it is always winter in Narnia but never Christmas. Mr Tumnus let's Lucy go and on returning back to the wardrobe she finds no time has passed since she entered Narnia - and her brothers and sister do not believe her tale.

      During a game of hide and seek a few days later Lucy returns to the wardrobe and Edmund follows. He too finds Narnia and meets the White Witch. She bribes him with Turkish Delight to bring his brother and sisters to her next time.

      All four children make it into Narnia whilst fleeing visitors to the old country house and find Mr Tumnus has been taken by the White Witch. They meet Mr Beaver who takes them to his dam and reveals Aslan is 'on the move'. It is he, the King of the Wood, who will help Mr Tumnus and eradicate evil from Narnia.

      But Edmund sneaks away from the beaver's dam and goes to the White Witch. Aslan is then forced to bargain his own life for Edmund's safe return.

      This tale swept me away as a child. I was fascinated by the whole concept of finding a world at the back of a wardrobe and thought to myself, if only that could happen to me. I was encouraged by the old professor's words to Peter and Susan that in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, we really should believe Lucy's story.

      I wanted to be Lucy and have tea with Mr Tumnus and ride on Aslan's back, before becoming a Narnian Queen.

      What is truly appealing about this book, and why I think it captures children's imaginations, is C S Lewis makes the concept so plausible. The four children are just ordinary children, living very ordinary lives. If they can stumble across such an adventure, anyone can.

      What I find appealing now as an adult is the nostalgia the story fills me with. The children in the novel are a product of a different age when youngsters were brought up to be well-mannered and sensible and to always do what is right. It had me pining back to such a time and the contrast between the children's rigid, controlled up-bringing and the adventure and magic of Narnia is highly effective.

      The morality of this book also comes from the story itself - the ultimate tale of good triumphing over evil and personal sacrifice. C S Lewis intended this book to get across the Christian message to children in the easiest way and the parallels between Narnia and the bible are evident once you know C S Lewis' intention.

      Aslan is a Christ-like figure who saves Narnia from its own sins by sacrificing himself on the stone table. He then rises from the dead and his teachings are continued by Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in his absence. Meanwhile, the White Witch is representative of the devil and puts temptation in Edmund's way, causing him to betray his own siblings.

      The very premise on which entry into Narnia is based is faith. The children must believe such a fantasy world is possible to be able to see it. While many other characters sacrifice their own well-being to help others. The beavers put their own lives on the line to guide the children to the stone table and Mr Tumnus is prepared to face the White Witch's wrath to protect Lucy.

      The adventure meanwhile keeps children turning the pages. The suspense as the children try and get to the sanctuary of the stone table before the White Witch catches up with them, the chilling scenes of Aslan's sacrifice on the stone table and the tension over whether Edmund will be saved in time, all build to a crescendo of the swash-buckling battle and the ultimate conclusion to a good adventure - the crowning of our heroes and heroines.

      There is much merit in modern day children's literature. I am a huge fan of Harry Potter and the like but they do not give you that heart-warming feeling that you are returning to a golden age when it was enough for children to sit quietly and dream of the adventures they could have. Narnia could be all theirs with just the opening of the right wardrobe door.

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      29.07.2011 18:02

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      Overcomes the predictable good versus evil with various plot twists.

      I first read this book aged 10 and would say that I enjoyed it the same, if not more when I read it as an adult.

      As a child, I enjoyed the querky and vivid characters, and the fact that the hero of the novel was a lion which could be ridden, as well as the idea that time stood still whilst the children escaped from their other world. The storyline is exciting and fast paced, allowing for younger readers to follow with excitement the various plot twists and turns.

      As an adult perhaps the book has more to offer. It is a book filled with morality and growing up (perhaps why a younger reader can also relate), and also a typical fight of good versus evil. As an adult however one can see the shades of grey inbetween - as one of the younger protagonists joins the bad side - the Ice Queen, and eventually returns to that of his siblings.

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      22.02.2011 20:09
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      A brilliant read which will have you peering into Wardrobe's!

      The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (I'm going to call it LWW for short in this review) is probably the most well-known of the seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia. Well it is for me at least! If I'm honest it took a few years for me to realise that there was any more to the series - I think my younger sister had to inform me! Having watched the BBC adaptation when I was younger I was looking forward to reading this instalment of the series, and I definitely wasn't disappointed. LWW was published in 1950 and was in fact the first of the seven books to be written by C. S. Lewis; however, it is chronologically the second book of the series, although I don't think anything would be missed if this was read before the Magician's Nephew, which is more background to Narnia than background to the story in LWW.

      The story starts off set in 1940 during the London Blitz, and the evacuation of children from the city. It is here we meet the Pevensie children - Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy (in age order) who are evacuated to a big old house in the country where they stay with old Professor Kirke. During an exploration of the house, Lucy discovers a portal to the world of Narnia in a big old wardrobe. Even though her siblings do not believe her adventure, Lucy finds her way back to Narnia, but so does her brother Edmund - even though he denies this later on. Finally, all four children end up in Narnia after hiding in the wardrobe, and this is where their adventures begin. The meet a pair of Beaver's who take them to meet the mysterious Aslan, but not before Edmund has sneaked away and betrayed them to the evil White Witch. Now his three siblings must race to join Aslan and defeat the White Witch if they are to save Narnia - and their brother.

      I think I'm still in love with how these books are written. There are a fantastic range of characters, mainly Talking Animals and mystical creatures, some are good and some are evil but they are all well-written. The story itself is brilliant - like the Magician's Nephew, it is a fairly short novel (being a children's book), but there is plenty there to keep young ones (or not so young ones) entertained. Even though I'd seen the movie & TV adaptation, and roughly knew the story, I couldn't put the book down; it just compelled me to keep reading just to see what happened next. Another thing I loved about this book is Lewis' writing style; unsurprisingly, like with the Magician's Nephew it feels like Lewis is having a conversation with the reader at times, which really makes you feel like part of the story itself. There are times when he even makes comments to the reader that just make me giggle - although some of the character comments also make me laugh. A random (or perhaps not-so-random) fact I learnt about the book is that the main character, Lucy, was named after Lewis' god-daughter, to whom the book was dedicated - I think this is quite sweet, especially as he allowed her to read the book before it was even published.

      I'd say that generally this book is quite light-hearted, although there are a couple of moments which aren't - just to warn those who may want to read this to little ones! The wording is quite old-fashioned, which is to be expected from a book written and set before the 50's, but I love this writing style - I don't know why, it's just nice to read something that isn't too modern, if that makes sense. I would recommend this to people of all ages, just be prepared that you may be like me and end up reading the whole book in a whole afternoon! Or that you or little ones may end up peering expectantly into big old wardrobes - I must admit that I can't help but look!

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      01.08.2010 14:40
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      a fantastic read for people of all ages

      This book has to be my favourite in The Chronicles of Narnia. I don't know what it is about it, C.S. Lewis has created such wonderful, believable characters and has placed them in a magical world straight out of a child's dream; how many times did I wish I could talk to animals?

      The Plot:
      Four children are whisked away from their familiar life in London, to the wilds of a large manor in the countryside, but soon little Lucy realises that there are even greater adventures to be had than just another part of England.

      A magical wardrobe takes the four Penvensies to another world, one where all the animals can talk to them, 'even the trees can hear' and there are creatures such as dwarves and fauns. However it is not all fun in this land; it is rules over by the evil Snow Queen who has made it always winter and never Christmas!

      All of the animals seem to think that these four children hold the secret to releasing them from their curse, but are they right? And who is this Aslan that they must get to? And why do three of the four children get such a warm, happy feeling whenever his name is mentioned, unlike Edmund who feels sickened by it?


      My Opinion:
      The first thing to notice about any Narnia books is the style of writing. It is written in the third person, but the narrator has such a familiar feel that you almost feel as close to him as you do the charming characters. C.S. Lewis writes which such warmth and explains things to the reader at just the moment that you begin to question it, he makes it an enjoyable book for children and adults alike because it is not too difficult for children to understand but it makes for a light and exciting read for adults.

      The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe is a book with a real magical feel, one that I can't say I have found in any other fantasy book, you really believe that there is a land called Narnia with fauns, dwarves and talking animals.

      In The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe C.S. Lewis also brings up the issue of evacuees during the second world war, and how scary it must have been for children to be taken away from their family and the familiar city, but these children were certainly lucky.


      The characters:

      Peter Pevensie
      Peter is the eldest of the Pevensie children and therefore takes on the responsibility of looking after his younger siblings, which becomes a little stressful when he believes his youngest sister, Lucy, has either taken to lying or has gone mad. Tensions spark between him and Edmund who finds Peter too controlling and proud at times.

      Susan Pevensie
      Susan is the second eldest of the Pevensie children. She tries to act as the most mature of them, and she is classed as the prettiest and most gentle; she is advised to stay out of the battles. She is the most cautious of the children and has the most common sense

      Edmund Pevensie
      Edmund is a headstrong boy who is trying to grow up too quickly because he resents his older brother. He seems to enjoy lying and cheating and becomes a traitor to his siblings in Narnia, however he eventually becomes one of my favourites of the Pevensies.

      Lucy Pevensie
      She is the youngest of the children and is very cute. Lucy is the closest to Aslan and seems to believe the most in Narnia, which adds to C.S. Lewis' theme of children being much more of a friend to Narnia and magic than most adults. She is the first of her siblings to come across Narnia and makes friends with the faun Mr. Tumnus.

      Aslan
      What can be said about Aslan? He is a magical talking lion with boundless knowledge, with the kindness to show mercy on those who deserve it, yet he is still a wild lion. He is a mysterious King of Beasts who is willing to show great sacrifice. In this book he has his largest part of all the stories, although he features in all seven.

      The White Witch, Jadis
      Jadis is an evil, selfish witch who has made herself Queen of Narnia and plunged the land into an endless winter without Christmas. Her minions make up many of the nightmarish creatures; ghouls, boggles, minotaurs, hags, black dwarves wolves and werewolves. It is she who causes Edmund's betrayal.

      Mr and Mrs Beaver
      I couldn't talk about the characters of The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe without mentioning these two little critters. They are a very cheery pair of beavers who take the children in when all four of them finally make it into Narnia, they explain the goings on in the land and the fate of Lucy's friend Mr Tumnus, and they take it on themselves to lead them to Aslan. The two of them provide some light humour in a time of panic.


      As with the other books in the series The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe has some religious connotations. It has been suggested that Peter Pevensie was named after Saint Peter who was the right-hand man of Jesus, just like Peter was the right-hand man of Aslan. Aslan is also given the feel of Jesus or God in this book as he is shown to have great power and knowledge, with the ability to show great kindness and forgiveness but also to rebuke those who are not sorry for their wrongdoings. Aslan also willingly sacrifices himself to give life to a child. The White Witch is shown to put temptation in the path of Edmund as the devil is known to have done

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      16.03.2010 13:27
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      A fantastic fantasy which will live on in me forever.

      This is proberly my fravorite book of all time. When i was a child i had the book in both hard back and paper back. I also had a box set of the chronicals of narnia which included The lion, The witch and The wardobe. I love the way CS Lewis has taken a simply story and made it magical.

      As a child i use to read the book on a regular basis and i proberly new the whole book word for word. The story consists of 4 children that are moved to a country house during the war. In a game of hide and seek the main character Lucy finds a wardrobe to hide in. When she enters the wardrobe she finds a magical kindom called narnia.

      Narnia is everything you could wish it to be, it has magical creatures including Aslan the Lion, the good king of Narnia and The white witch, the evil queen that has taken control of narnia. The witch has made it always winter but never xmas. The children get entangled by the sitution of it always being winter but never xmas and gather together some very mistical creatures to help save narnia.

      As you read the book you can picture the suroundings and the creatures that you meet along the way. There are many creatures in the book, and they are discribed extremely well.

      I love this book it takes your imagination and runs wild with it. In my opinion i think that this book should be on the cariculum at school. I will defenatly be reading this to my nieces in the future and i really think that they will enjoy the story and the fantasy as much as i did when i was a child. I think that every child that reads this book will have that magic with them for the rest of there lives.

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      01.06.2009 14:37
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      This is a brilliant novel that shows C.S. Lewis at his best, well recommended!

      PThe Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis is one of the great novels of the twentieth century. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy novel that is a children's novel. It is featured in the TIME 100 best English language novels from 1923 to the present day and it is easy to see why when reading this excellent novel! It was originally published in 1950 and I absolutely loved this book, it is 208 pages and so is a decent length. I really would recommend this novel especially if you have read other C.S. Lewis books and read them.

      The novel is about a four children called Peter Susan, Edmund and lucy who are forced to leave their home in London. They have to move to a house in the countryside with a rather strange professeur. The children find nothing to do and become easily bored until one day when they go up to the attic and find a secret wardrobe. Little do they know that this wardrobe is the way into the wolrd of Narnia which is a magical and wonderful world full of different creatures, some bad some good. However, the White Witch is in power and it is always winter in Narnia as a result. It is up to them to find their way back home and save the wonderful world of Narnia once again.

      I really found the story to be fascinating and I really did find it very interesting to watch throughout. It is a superb novel that is written beautifully and is full of description that is essential with a book of this type. I would really recommend this book as a present for children because they would I'm sure love it. I hope this was useful and thank you very much fo reading!

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      09.11.2008 21:23
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      Now I shall not say that this book was the best of the series because quite frankly, I liked the first book called The Magician's Nephew. I really don't know why but probably because of the woods between the worlds because that bit was described perfectly and I could imagine being there, in the peaceful luxurious place.

      But I believe this book is not about the magician's Nephew, however the sequel which is The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

      Now I really liked this story, but it couldn't possibly compete against the magician's nephew and you might see why as you read my review I did on that book

      Anyway... This book is about 4 siblings: Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan. And there is a magic wardrobe... and only the people who have read the Magician's Nephew. And Lucy is the first to enter it. She meets a faun, and then Edmund goes in after her and meets the witch. And then near the end they become Kings & Queens of Narnia.

      As you may have already notice is that I haven't really said much about the book and that is not only because I don't like it as such but also because I'm 100% sure everyone who ever reads this review will know the story line, and I seriously don't want to make you travel into boredom reading this so I thought I shall keep it short.

      Anyway, I liked the whole concept of the book, it's very intriguing and very imaginable, although it seems to me more of a story never ever to come true, however I could imagine and feel as if the magician's nephew, would come true.

      I believe they also made a film... Okay well they've made many films on The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, And I have seen the old one and the Animated one. But I have yet to see the latest film made in 2006? Am I right about that date? Anyway, all I know is that no one has yet started the films in chronological order, HELLO! It is called the chronicles Of Narnia! Although however, they are doing them in date order at the moment, but whether or not they will ever do The Magician's Nephew and the other ones they have missed out I shall not know until I reach the age of stop caring...

      I don't know what's wrong with me but this appears to be the shortest ever review I have ever done and I presume I will have low ratings for it.... Well maybe because C.S. Lewis didn't intrigue me and I shall not recommend this book as such!

      I hope I have influenced you into thinking whether you should or shouldn't read this review and I really do hope it's not too short!

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        28.10.2008 18:04
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        Amazing imagination drawing us into Narnia

        C.S.Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is one of the most publicised children's books in history. Althought it is not the first in the series of books written by Lewis and featuring his magical world of Narnia, it is the first that features the Pevensie children, who go on to feature in 5 of the seven works. It has been televised before, and more recently hit our cinema screens a couple of years ago.

        The book features the four Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, as they are evacuated during the War to the strange and mysterious house of an old Professor, in the heart of the country. Exploring the house one day, the four children find a hidden passgaeway at the back of an old wardrobe. Sneaking through, they find themselves catapulted into adventure as they enter the magical world of Narnia, where it is always winter but never Christmas, and the wicked witch has turned everyone to stone. However, the brave and gallant lion Aslan is apparently on the move again, and he will need the Pevensie children's help if they aqre to defeast the White Witch and restore Narnia to its beauty once more.

        In The Magician's Nephew, Lewis created the world of Narnia, and here, he sends the four children through a magical gateway into its charms, where they explore Narnia. It is like something out of a child's imagination, with talking animals and wonderful descriptive passages. So much happens, and yet the book is a mere 170 pages long or so. Lewis captures the magic from the word go, and his flowing style of writing is captivating.

        The imagination and the creative genius of Lewis is the key here. Much has been suggested that he was under the influence of some sort of halucinogen when he created these tales, as the creativity is amazing. The flora, fauna and animals and creatures of Narnia are steeped in magic, and the stories were amongst my favourites as a child. There are seven of them in total, and I recommend them all. It is probably best to start with The Magician's Nephew, as this deals with the creation of Narnia and will answer many questions you may have regarding The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe if you have already read this or seen the film or TV series.

        The books are timeless classics. I suggest you read them, whether you are a child or an adult. The intended audience is the younger reader, although it is equally entertaining for an adult. Lewis actually wrote this book for his goddaughter Lucy, who was very young at the time, and the character Lucy in the book is named after her.

        All of Lewis' Narnia books are available in most bookshops. You can currently purchase a box set of all 7 from amazon.co.uk for £25.15, or similarly have a look around the internet or charity shops for cheaper versions. I highly recommend them all.

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          20.01.2006 14:46
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          A Classic Children's Book.

          I have always enjoyed reading books since a very young age and when I was younger I did read the famous Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. My favourite was always the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which I am sure was many peoples favourite book. I forgot about this book until late last year when the film came onto our screens and I went to see it on the cinema and loved it so much that my Mom gave me the book for Christmas. I have just finished reading it while I was on the train and honestly I forgot what an engaging read it is.

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          What is the book about?

          The four Pevensie children are evacuated from London during World War II. They are sent to a Professors house in the country and while they are playing they discover a magical wardrobe which transports them to the magical world of Narnia where an eternal winter has been set over the land by the evil white witch. The children join forces with the great Lion Aslan who teaches them about prophecies and destinies.

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          Characters:

          Lucy Pevensie – The youngest of the four Pevensie children, Lucy is the one who first discovers the magical world of Narnia. She has more optimism and enthusiasm than any of the other children and due to her wild imagination the others think she is making up the story about Narnia at first.

          Edmund Pevensie – Edmund is the joker of the pack and is always playing his sister Lucy up by teasing her constantly. Of course he doesn’t believe Narnia exists but when he meets the white witch he is in awe of her and his own ego gets him into trouble with the others.

          Susan Pevensie – Perhaps the most sensible of the group. She is very logical and like Peter is unwilling to believe Lucy at first and as soon as she enters Narnia she wants to go straight back.

          Peter Pevensie – The big brother and one who is willing to reason with everybody the most. Peter listens to all of his siblings and tries to keep peace between them all at all times.

          Jadis – The white witch calls herself the queen of Narnia and is keeping the land with eternal winter. She has a weapon that turns things to stone and she wants to take over the whole of Narnia.

          Aslan – The great lion that is Narnia’s hope of destroying Jadis and taking back Narnia. He becomes an ally to the Pevensie children and a dear friend for the short time they spend together.

          Mr Tumness – Lucy immediately befriends Mr Tumness as she enters Narnia and they become fast friends.

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          Things to know:

          Number of pages – 192
          Price - £3.99 from Amazon.
          Author – C. S. Lewis.
          Publisher – Harper Collins Children’s Books.

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          Verdict:

          This book is fantastic and I know that it is seen as a children’s book but I think that adults can enjoy this book just as much which has been proved to my family by me (23)m my sister (18) and my Mom and Dad (in their 40s) reading it and really enjoying it. I have the movie version of the book which is basically the book but with a cool front cover and some pictures of the movie inside.

          The story of this book is fantastic and as you are reading it you begin to believe that this magical land could actually exist. The concept of Narnia is so magical that I don’t think I could have come up with the idea at all and I am amazed that somebody could have such an imagination that they would come up with all of the wonderful characters and storylines. It is no wonder that children get enthralled with this novel as all of the descriptions and scenes set in writing by Lewis are just wonderful and everything about the book is memorable.

          I think my favourite character has to be Lucy Pevensie because she just embodies most kid’s character traits of her age. She is so willing to believe in Narnia that she manages to get in there straight away while the other children at first just see the back of the wardrobe. I think that she shows optimism and faith in people that when she believes someone is bad then they really are bad. I love her friendship with Mr Tumness because it is so innocent and sweet that as soon as she knows he may be in danger she really wants to help him as much as she can.

          The two major characters in the book, Aslan and Jadis are fantastic and they come across really well in the book. It is like good vs. evil and the book really gets across to you why Narnia needs to be freed of Jadis.

          C. S. Lewis has a great way of making you get into the story so he does tend to use a lot of descriptions that are simple for children to understand so that they can imagine what is happening exactly. I like the way that his prose is set especially so that the stories can be read to children. What I mean by this is that as I was reading I thought about how much children would enjoy this story because of the way he writes. I found myself in my head using different voices from the characters and I kept on thinking how much I would love to read this book to my boyfriends little cousins so I will be taking it down next time I visit.

          What I will say is that people who are expecting the book to be exactly like the film will not be too disappointed. The film did a fantastic job of bringing the book to life but the book does tend to run through things a little quicker than the film for instance the children are already at the professor’s house by page two and the battle does not go on for as long as it does in the film. If you enjoyed the film though you will love the book.

          In conclusion I think that this is one of the classic children’s books and I think that every child should read this book and get transported into Narnia for a while.

          Thanks for reading.

          xxx

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            03.07.2005 00:09
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            Much more for kids than adults, better for adults who feel nostalgia for it!

            The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe has long been regarded as a classic of children's literature. I was an adult when I read this for the first time so obviously have a slightly different perspective than a child reading it, but I'll do my best to be objective. (Many read it as a child so have a wonderful feeling of nostalgia when reading it as an adult.)


            The formation of the land of Narnia and the gateways from our world to it was described in The Magician's Nephew, which was actually written later but in the chronology of Narnia comes first. Many years have passed since evil was first introduced into that land and was vanquished, and no one from our world has since visited it. But evil has returned to that land, and since children from our world first introduced evil to Narnia (albeit unwittingly), a new gateway opens up and four children will ultimately be given the task of restoring good to that land. The gateway this time takes the form of… a wardrobe.

            Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy are the four children in question, and find themselves transported from London during the war into a big house in the country, owned by an old Professor (being the boy who starred in The Magician's Nephew many years on) who largely leaves them to their own devices. Lucy, the youngest, finds the gateway by accident but when she tells the others, they naturally don't believe her - until they get to see Narnia for themselves. From then on it's a tale of good vs. evil (good being the lion Alsan and his followers, bad being The White Which and hers) - but Edmund, being by disposition rather bad himself, is seduced by the White Witch. What will become of him - of Narnia - and of the prophecy that Narnia would be rued by 4 "Sons of Adam" and "Daughters of Eve"?

            The characters in this book are quite nicely portrayed, rather simple but then it is for children after all. There are many talking animals in Narnia, and they fall pretty directly into either the "Good" or "Evil" camps. The plot bounces along merrily and the action scenes are well described, and there are quite a few of them. The language used is kept simple most of the time, although occasionally there is use of language that today's youngster would find hard to comprehend. (Due to today's youth having a somewhat limited vocabulary compared to times when books were actually read by the majority of children, rather than Lewis using now outdated English, I mean.) Though I found the prose a little on the childish side (for the obvious reason that it's meat for kids), it was not irritatingly so and was extremely comfortable to read.

            The illustrations by Pauline Baynes are detailed line drawings that depict momentous or tense scenes from the book. These are very good quality but will, I fear, not be properly appreciated by the target age group. However at least for some they may instill an appreciation of art - it's a far cry from Pokemon… The illustrations do add to the book - not greatly, but enough to make them worthwhile.

            As with The Magician's Nephew this book is very moralistic, teaching young children valuable lessons by means of the characters and events in the book, without them ever realising that they're actually learning by reading this - especially in the way that Edmund is affected by his experience. The biblical themes are not so prominent here with the only one that really stood out being the resurrection. In general there is a lot less symbolism in this than the earlier but later-written Magician's Nephew, and fewer flashes if wit and wisdom in the narrative. Given that Lewis' writing style no doubt advanced over time this is hardly surprising. I may well get lynched for saying this given the high regard The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is held in by many, but the narrative drive and prose was somewhat bland. It read like a straight children's book rather than a children's book with extra substance for any adults who happened to be reading. That said it was quite an enjoyable light read, but it didn't strike me as anything special. Lewis' ability to set the scene brilliantly is still there and the set pieces were effective, but nothing really excelled.

            In fact, I appreciated Lewis' writing more in the letter he wrote to Lucy Barfield, who he wrote the story for, and which is printed as a sort of unofficial foreword to the book:

            "MY DEAR LUCY,

            I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realised that girls grow up quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be

            your affectionate Godfather,

            C.S.LEWIS"

            Overall it's a good book for young children but, as you can see, Lewis himself admitted that it was only for younger children, not ones who'd grown up but were not yet old enough to realise they weren't too old.

            My rating of 3 stars reflects mainly my own reaction to the book, but for small children it's an excellent book. I admit that I felt a bit intimidated by the sea of 5-star reviews with my little 3-star rating about to sink in the middle of it, but I can't in all honesty give it 5 stars from my personal point of view.


            Amazon.co.uk details for the individual book:

            NewPrice: £4.99
            Used & New from £1.91


            Amazon.co.uk details for the complete Chronicles of Narnia:

            New Price: £14.47
            Used & New from £7.79


            As usual you'll be able to find either the individual book or complete collection in any good bookshop, and apparently The Works have them frequently and very cheaply.


            As always, thanks for reading!

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              11.08.2004 16:46
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              The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the story of four children who have been evacuated from London during the second world war. They are staying with an old professor out in the country, miles from anywhere. One day, when it's raining outside, they decide to play hide-and-seek, and in the process discover an old wardrobe in one of the bedrooms. Lucy, the youngest of the children, hides in the wardrobe and, to her amazement, discovers that it leads into a magical land covered with snow. There she meets a faun (half human, half goat) called Mr Tumnus who invites her to tea, and tells her about the evil witch who has cast a spell over the land of Narnia, meaning that it's always winter, but never Christmas. When Lucy returns to the ordinary world, and tells her brothers and sister what has happened, they half-believe her until they try to go into the wardrobe themselves, and find that there is no land at all, just an ordinary wooden back. Eventually - of course - they all get there, after their characters have been pretty well established. And so starts an exciting adventure for the children in this magical land. It turns into a major battle between the forces of evil (led by the witch) and the forces of good, led by the great lion Aslan. Edmund, the most unpleasant of the children who has been bewitched by the queen during his first visit to Narnia, is determined that Aslan is in fact bad. He becomes a traitor who - according to the ancient laws of Narnia - is supposed to die. The only person who the witch will accept as substitute is Aslan himself. When I first read this book, at about eight years old, I took it at face value. It was an exciting story, mixing reality and fantasy in a way I enjoyed, and focussing on four children not much older than me. Shortly afterwards I read the six sequels in t
              he 'Narnia' series, although I didn't enjoy any of them quite as much as the first. In one of the sequels was a suggestion that Aslan was real and to be found in the ordinary human world. I didn't understand what was meant by this, but later on, in my early teens, I realised he represented the Christian God, and that in 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe', when he appears and becomes a sacrifice, it's analagous to Jesus on Good Friday. As an adult, I've read the books again - first to my sons, and then to myself. Each time I find more in the analogies. As a Christian myself I can appreciate them and see what a very clever writer CS Lewis was. He wrote the books as fictional stories which could be enjoyed without any idea of what was being represented, and yet at the same time they were filled with ideas from his worldview and beliefs. The classic struggle of good versus evil, as evident in so many books, takes on a much bigger aspect of Good in the person of the Creator and Redeemer, and evil as a choice that each person can make, or reject. So why is this book, with its strong Christian overtones, such a favourite in the mostly non-Christian UK? It was voted last year as one of the nation's top 21 best-loved books in the BBC's 'Big Read' search (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/). Most adults I know, when asked to think of their favourite childhood books, include CS Lewis's 'Narnia' series. What is it that makes these books, and particularly the first one, stick in our minds as being so well-loved? To my mind, there are several answers. Firstly, CS Lewis's writing style is clear and concise, with just enough detail to keep a child's interest. &
              #72;e draws vivid word pictures of his characters and places, that enable us to see them in our mind's eye. For instance, I love this section of the description of Mr Tumnus when Lucy first meets him: "He also had a tail, but Lucy did not notice this at first because it was neatly caught up over the arm that held the umbrella so as to keep it from trailing in the snow. He had a red woollen muffler round his neck and his skin was rather reddish too." So clear is this that for 35 years my mental image of a faun has been of a rather nervous chap standing in the snow with a red scarf and an umbrella, and his tail hitched over his arm! Secondly, there's the mixture of humans and Narnian characters. The four children have clear and different personalities: Peter, the oldest, is serious and responsible. Susan, like other Susans in fiction (compare Arthur Ransome's in 'Swallows and Amazons', for instance) tends to worry about her younger siblings in practical ways. Edmund is the odd one out, jealous of Lucy, and also rather dishonest and sly. And Lucy is the child who most easily trusts people, who is totally loyal and trustworthy, and who takes little heed for her own safety. Meanwhile the Narnian talking animals somehow manage to be recognisable animals, but with human traits and understanding; larger than life, and yet quite believable in context. The other fantasy creatures - fauns, centaurs, dwarfs, and so on - are more human than the talking animals, with clear elements that distinguish them from humans as we know them. Thirdly, there's a great story with plenty of action and excitement: a stealthy escape, magical gifts given to the children, a thrilling battle, a very moving part when Aslan gives up his life for Edmund the traitor, and a 'happy ever after' ending
              (which isn't a spoiler, since this is almost compulsory in a children's book). Each event is significant, and moves the plot onwards at what seems to me exactly the right pace. Finally, the language is almost timeless. Despite having been first published in 1950, the book is easily readable by children today, or can be read aloud by parents without any complicated explanations. There is no condescension, no obvious appeal to children's vocabulary - so much so that it's just as enjoyable to adults - and yet the straightforward style is easy to grasp. The background of the war is almost incidental, although it would have been highly topical to children in the early 1950s; still, to those of us who have never been evacuated, it's a simply accepted reason for the children being at the big old house, unsupervised and making new discoveries. Of course there are minor plot flaws when thinking at an adult level, such as the inclusion of 'Christmas' (and, indeed, Father Christmas, who makes a brief appearance) in a land where Aslan is the equivalent of Christ. As a pedantic teenager this did bother me slightly, but now I can see it in better perspective, realising that the book was not written as an analogy: it was (as the introduction claims) a 'fairy story' which just happens to have some deeper meanings. 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' has around 170 pages, and is around the reading level expected for children of age eight and upwards, although a younger fluent reader would probably also enjoy it. It's excellent for reading aloud, as it's divided into fairly short chapters. It has been published many times, in both hardback and paperback; the currently available paperback version produced by Collins costs £4.99 at Amazon. There are also several cheaper copies available second-hand, and this book is o
              ften found in charity shops. There is a BBC Audio version too on tape or CD, and an excellent BBC drama available on video or DVD. I recommend it to everyone.

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                23.07.2004 20:31
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                The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is one of my favourite books ever! This is a book that appeals to both the young and the old, it is an ageless classic. About the author: Name: C.S. Lewis, Clive, Staples Lewis. Date of birth: 29th November 1889 Place of birth: Belfast, Northern Ireland Date of death: 22nd November 1963 Place of death: Oxford, England. C.S. Lewis wrote seven books in all known as ?The Chronicles of Narnia? the correct order of reading is as follows: 1/ The Magicians Nephew 2/ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe 3/ Horse and his Boy. 4/ Prince Caspian 5/ The voyage of the Dawn Treader 6/ The Silver Chair 7/ The Last battle Facts about ?The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe?: ? It was published in 1950 ? The BBC made a TV adaptation of the book in 1989 ? The Royal Shakespeare Company put on a production of the book at The Saddlers Wells Theatre in 2001. The story: The story is about 4 children; Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, set in the 1940?s the children are evacuees sent to live in an old country house with a distant relative The Professor. Whilst playing a game of ?Hide and Seek? in the old house, the youngest child ?Lucy? decides to hide in the wardrobe?? And so the adventures begin, for this was no ordinary wardrobe, once inside Lucy began to feel cold, so reached up and put on a fur coat, as you moved the coat wonders were to appear in front of her, thick white snow, a magical land. Lucy decides to venture out to see what this place is, as she does this she stumbles upon the oddest thing to see in a forest a lamp post. ?Are you a daughter of Eve?? asks a kind little fawn, ?Whatever do you mean?? says Lucy, ?Are you human?? ?Of course I?m human!? And with that the fawn hurries Lucy into hiding. He takes her to his house were they eat a supper of sardines on toast, Mr Tumnas the fawn, plays Lucy a tune on his pi
                pe, as he does this Lucy falls asleep and awakes to the sound of Mr Tumnas?s tears, ?Whatever is the matter Mr Tumnas? ?What kind of person kidnaps a girl, pretends to make friends with it, lull?s it of to sleep to give her over to the Evil White witch? When Lucy returns from Narnia, the others don?t even realise that she has gone because no time has past. Edmund mocks Lucy about her land inside the wardrobe, but it is not long before Edmund discovers the land as well. Edmund is not as fortunate as Lucy, he stumbles not upon a kind fawn, but upon The White Witch herself, she is horrified to learn that he is a human, and that there are more humans. The great prophecy says that ?When 2 sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve, sit of the thrones at Carparival, the white Witch?s reign will end? The Witch blackmails Edmund into bringing the others to Narnia, she does this with the aid of magic, and she asks Edmund ?What would you like to eat? ?Turkish Delight? and just like that a box of Turkish delight is supplied! Edmund eats it hungrily and asks for more. The witch refuses to give him more but insists that if he return with the others he will get more and also become prince, she tells him that her house lie beyond the two hills and to bring the others! A day or so later back in the house the children are playing and they end up hiding in the wardrobe from Mrs Mcready the horrid maid. This time they all end up in Narnia together! Lucy takes them too meet Mr Tumnas but when they arrive they are two late, Maugrim the White Witches wolf has been to capture Mr Tumnas for betraying her and letting Lucy go. On their way to track him down they meet Mr and Mrs Beaver who are to help them on their way, Mr and Mrs Beaver tell them all about the Prophecy and about Aslan the Great King who will defeat the Witch. ?Is Aslan a man?? asks Susan, ?Why don?t you know the king? Aslan is a Lion!? While they are having this discussion Edmund
                wonders off, by the time they notice he is gone it is too late, he has betrayed them to the White Witch!........................ The Ending: I am not going to go on and ruin it for those that have not read the book yet; all I can say is that it is merely at the beginning, they have a big adventure ahead of them yet! What Happens to Edmund? Does Aslan defeat the white witch? Does Mr Tumnas survive? My Opinion; I love this book and as I said at the beginning of this op, I think it is a time les classic. It is beautifully written full of description and imagination! It is a pleasant book to read wit exciting adventures and likeable characters, even the witch you?ll love to hate! When I was at college I was lucky enough to be cast as Lucy in a production we put on and I fell in love with her character. Later o at university, I took on the role of director and decided to put on a Christmas production of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Where to Buy?: www.amazon.co.uk Book: Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe = £9.09 Audio Book: Chronicles of Narnia, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe = £10.49 BBC Radio Collection: Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe = £12.99 Royal Shakespeare?s Adaptation: Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe = £6.39 Video: BBC Adaptation: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe = £8.78 DVD: BBC Adaptation Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe = £14.24

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                  08.12.2003 17:29
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                  Not many people haven't at least heard of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, even without all the fuss that is being made at the moment with the nations top 100 books. The reason.. Well it is quite simple, it is one of the best loved childrens stories. And as it is over 50 years since it was written there are bound to be grandparents about that loved at is children so it has been passed down through 3 generations. Well it's true for this household anyway as my Mother had read them and bought me my set of the Narnia books, and I in turn have bought them for my children. Many people have said it is only in the top 21 because they asked a lot of children to vote, but I can't see that this would make a difference as it is still loved by adults, well this one still loves it anyhow, even though I didn't vote for it :oP Set mainly in Narnia it gives people an escape from everyday life, and to me being surround by talking animals sounds like a perfect escape. For those of that don't know the story, I suppose there must be a few, it is a story set in the time of WW2, when children were being evacuated to the countryside from large cities because of the bombing. It follows the adventures of four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy after they have been evacuated to a large mansion owned by a professor in the countryside. *Even though it isn't mentioned once in this book, I know the professors name happened to be Digory from the first of the Narnia Chronicles, The Magicians Nephew * The children are brothers and sisters and are quite excited at the thought of an extended holiday in the countryside, and think of all the wonderful adventures they will have exploring the grounds around the house, but this is England and so the rain begins. *C. S. Lewis must have a thing about rain, it poured down in the first book too!* As they can't explore outdoors they decide to explore the hou
                  se instead. Soon they find that house is full of empty or part empty rooms and it would be great for playing hide and seek. It is during one such game that Lucy, the youngest, hides in a wardrobe in an empty room, of course remembering not to close the doors behind her. As she goes further back amongst the fur coats that are kept in the wardrobe, she soon realises that she as been walking a fair way and that it is snowing! Being curious she keeps on going, making sure she can still see the wardrobe and the room beyond behind her. She soon discovers she is in a snowy forest and so the real adventure begins. A Faun (half man, half goat) soon appears carrying shopping and an umbrella. *All this in the first chapter, C. S. Lewis has a way of making anyone come back for more and not boring you with overlong descriptions, even though he does write in a very descriptive away. They just aren't long boring descriptions* Lucy gets invited round for tea by the Faun who introduces himself as Mr Tumnus, after he asks how she happened to be there. Thinking she has come from a place called Spare Oom and the city of War Drobe. *That bit used to make me giggle a lot when I was little* During tea with Mr Tumnus Lucy finds out all about Narnia when the poor Faun breaks down and cries. He is a spy for the White Witch, on the look out for Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve. *This is the main thing that makes people think of this as a Christian Tale, but to me it was just good names for people from our world* He is unable to hand over Lucy to the Witch, who is keeping the whole of Narnia in perpetual winter, but never Christmas! *Which is probably the worst thing any child could imagine (and a few adults too)* So he takes her back to the lamp post where she met her and she goes back through the wardrobe. Excitedly she rushes to tell her brothers and sister of her adventure and that she is safely ba
                  ck, b ut to them she hasn't been gone anytime at all, so they don't believe her. *This bit normally has the girl readers up in arms, as she is the youngest and a girl they treat her terribly and she gets the micky taken out of her. That is just the second chapter, about 10 pages in the book (not counting illustrations) so you can see that the action moves along quite swiftly.* Now it is Edmunds turn in the wardrobe. Edmund is not the nicest child. He comes across mean and selfish, so you rather expect him to do something nasty, so when he meets up with the witch it is no surprise that she easily coerces him into bringing his brother and sisters to Narnia so she can fulfil her wicked plan. She promises him that he will be a ruler and feed him up on Turkish Delight and hot chocolate. *Oh yum... I know there was something not good in the Turkish delight or the hot chocolate but I still wanted some* So Edmund goes back to the house to see if he can get the rest of them into Narnia, but at the same time doesn't want to admit that Lucy was right about it. Even though he meets her on his way out of Narnia he has trouble admitting it. He tries to pass it off as they were both pretending to be in Narnia, but it starts to drive poor Lucy mad, as she is a very truthful child and can't stand the way no one believes her. So Peter and Susan go to speak to the professor as they are worried about her, but he neither confirms or dispels the fact that there could be another world in the wardrobe. He does however tell them to let the matter rest, and so the children stop teasing Lucy about it and carry on with life quite happily. All is fine until one day when they are indoors playing and a group of tourist are being shown around the house. They had been told to keep out of the way by Mrs Macready the housekeeper, so when they heard the group getting closer to where they were playing they all piled into the
                  wardrobe so as not to be seen. *Keeping the doors slightly ajar again. C. S. Lewis, keeps pointing out the perils of shutting yourself in wardrobes which is very good advice* Soon all 4 of them are in Narnia. Peter apologises to Lucy for not believing her and is angry with Edmund for being so beastly. They start off to explore after putting on a fur coat each. Lucy takes them to Mr Tumnus's house but discovers it has been vandalised. All Edmund can do is complain that he is hungry while the rest of them are more concerned about Mr Tumnus, so Edmund looses face again. *By this time I always felt like decking Edmund, he was such a brat* Soon a beaver finds them and they are taken to his home built on a dam for some supper and to keep them safe. *Mr and Mrs Beavers home must be one of the nicest in the universe, the way it is described you can almost smell the supper cooking . I so wanted to be asked to tea by the Beavers.* Whilst having supper at the Beavers, they come up with a plan to stop the endless winter and make ready to go to the Table of Stone to meet with Aslan. The lion. But while they are talking they do not notice Edmund slip out side to head off to the witches house. *The fact that he forgets to put on his fur coat before he leaves always makes me think "serves him right, hope he freezes".. :oP* When they do discover he is missing the 3 children and the Beavers realise he must be in league with the witch and make haste to leave. Soon they are on their way to the Table of Stone, and something wonderful happens. I will not tell you anymore. For if you haven't read it, had it read to you, or even seen the TV series they made of it (which I thought was poop by the way) then I don't want to spoil it. But I have not explained about Aslan, which is not fair. When ever he is mentioned it is in hushed tones, as if he is some great power and terrib
                  le. He demands reverence, if that is how to put it, a force to be reckoned with, but not evil, he is pure goodness. He has been likened to Jesus, though I can't see that myself, but I am not a religious person. The whole religious debate throws me, as I thought that witchcraft, or any magic was strictly taboo, in Christian circles. So talking animals, fauns and the like should not be on the side of good. But I do not try to pick books apart for meaning, I just like being told good stories, and this is one of the best. And I have to mention the chief of the police, Maugrim, he is a wolf, and just so sneeringly nasty you can't help but remember him. Not only is the story fast paced, easy to read and well described, but it is illustrated beautifully by Pauline Baynes (you will end up thinking I am her biggest fan, as this is the second time I have written about her work). She captures the life in the characters perfectly and I think without her artwork the book may not be as popular as it is. Each page is enhanced by her work. And I wish I could draw half as good as she does. Lewis wrote this story for his Goddaughter Lucy, what a present that must have been! The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is the second in the Narnia Chronicles set (although written first, in 1950, it is second in the recommended reading order) but it does stand alone, so there is no need to read the others, although I highly recommend you do. Thank you for reading this, now go and read the book, if not to yourself then to a child, as it is wonderful to see their face light up at certain parts, and get cross at certain parts too. Happy reading Sarah :o) Oh and if you are wondering what I did vote for in the top 100, it was Lord of The Rings, written by C. S. Lewis's friend, J. R. R. Tolkien :o)

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                    09.03.2003 07:51
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                    I remember the first time i read this book, i was at junior school and it was the most fascinating thing i had ever read...it was also the first book i ever cried at. the plot of the book goes like this... It begins with 4 children, Peter,Susan,Edmund and Lucy. It takes place during world war 2 and the 2 brother and 2 sisters are evacuated to the countryside to reside with a rather bumbling old man..The weather being typically british(rainy) they decide to play hide and seek indoors. Lucy, the youngest, hides inside an old wardrobe in the spare room and finds her way into the wonderful world of Narnia. She meets a faun who goes by the name of Tumnus,He tells her terrible stories of a wicked witch who pretends to be the ruler of Narnia. She has cast a spell over the land so that it is always winter but never christmas, and anyone that upsets her is taken prisoner and turned to stone. When Lucy returns to her own world through the wardrobe her brothers and sister don't believe her and say she is making the whole thing up. Then Edmund finds his way into Narnia and he meets the witch, she tells him if he brings his brother and sisters to her she will make them all princes and princesses, in reality she wants to kill them because legend has it that when 2 daughters of Eve and 2 sons of Adam sit on the 4 thrones at Cairparavel then the reign of the witch will be no more. On his return to his own world Edmund denies ever finding Narnia, Lucy is terribly upset. Then all 4 of the children find their way into Narnia, they discover that Tumnus the faun has been taken into custody for fraternizing with humans, namely Lucy, she feels awful about this and feels that they should help the faun. They are befriended by Mr and Mrs Beaver who tell the children all about the true ruler of Narnia, Aslan, the lion. Edmund,meanwhile, is eager to get back to the witch and sneaks off to her house, she is angry when he turns up without his brother and siste
                    rs and they set off to stop them meeting Aslan. The witch plans to kill Edmund but Aslan gives his own life so that Edmund will be spared. The children are distraught, but they do not realize that because Aslan gave himself willingly to the witch in return for the life of Edmund he would come back from the dead stronger than before. Good conquers evil, Tumnus is freed from the witch and the 4 children become king and queens of Narnia, they rule the land for many happy years and one day while out hunting they find their way back to there own world, only to find that no time has passed and everything was just as it was when they had left it. It is truly a fantastic story and I have loved telling my 4 children the story of the land of Narnia. It is a book that I have read over and over again and I always get the same pleasure from it everytime.

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                      18.10.2002 01:00
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                      I don’t know why, but I’ve been feeling down this week. It might be because I have a birthday in a few days and I am feeling very old. Maybe it’s because the weather’s suddenly gone all wintry. Maybe I’m just fed up of the day-to-day routine of a dreary housewife. Sometimes it’s nice to retreat into dreams. Being young and worry-free seems an eternity ago, but it can be good looking back and seeing how your journey has progressed. When I studied social sciences a few years ago, there was a subject called ‘Continuity and Change’ which seems very apt at times. As my life seems to have inexorably marched on and I have altered from Daughter to Mother, it is strange looking around and seeing what things are still present in my life. I religiously watch Granada Plus’ repeats of George and Mildred. Shops are full of items from my 1970s childhood – Rainbow, Clangers, Bagpuss. My kids play with my Sindy dolls, pairing them up with modern Barbies to attend the latest fashion show. But if you look at my kids’ bookshelves, there are many of my books there from when I was a child. While George and Mildred and Sindy dolls date me, a book remains timeless. As a child, I collected eighty different Enid Blyton books. My kids now own even more. Amelia Jane, Malory Towers, Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield, My Naughty Little Sister, Milly-Molly-Mandy – they’re all there, devoured by my own children some twenty-five years after I read them. And so is this one – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. This was first published in 1950, but doesn’t come across as outdated. Then again, why would talking lions and evil witches become old? Surely the Harry Potter books are only similar themes revisited. So today I thought I’d go back to my childhood, transported by the land of imagination situated on every bookcase. To get away from bills
                      , Christmas, cold weather and housework. To visit the magical land that’s only a wardrobe away… The story begins by introducing the four child leads – Lucy, Susan, Peter and Edmund. They are siblings and evacuees from war-torn London who are sent to stay with ‘the Professor’ in his huge country mansion with countless rooms to explore. Little Lucy is the first to go through the wardrobe and we share her excitement and fear of this unknown land. We are first greeted with the snow, then we meet the Faun who is half-man half-goat and called Mr. Tumnus. Of course, the other three children soon travel through the wardrobe too and it’s the start of an amazing adventure full of fantastical creatures of myth and magic. The characters of the children are well described and easy to relate to. You get to see the way the siblings behave towards each other, which anyone with brothers or sisters will understand. The four children become real enough so you care what happens to them, which is always the essence of a good story. We soon discover the magical new world they stumble into is called Narnia. It is, like any world, full of interesting creatures, good kind ones and wicked ones. We have the wonderful, brave and majestic lion - Aslan - and the ‘boo hiss’ horrible evil witch. We meet Dwarves, a family of talking beavers, wolves and even Father Christmas! We learn a few lessons as we go along. Edmund becomes influenced by the White Witch and turns into a selfish boy, who is nasty to his little sister Lucy. We learn that things aren’t always what they seem. In fact, you can add a whole bunch of clichés here – blood is thicker than water, there’s no place like home… There’s enough in this to keep both boys and girls turning pages long after lights out. It’s an enchanting story and a wonderful adventure to get lost in. The situations the childr
                      en find themselves in are fantastical, but the characters of Susan, Peter, Edmund and Lucy are so well described that it’s easy to get sucked into it all. It’s exciting and the pace is often a fast one, as a child ends up in another dangerous situation and you are desperate to see how everything turns out. Narnia is a brilliantly drawn land with some parallels to ours, but enough differences to fascinate the readers. It is frightening in parts, but is basically a story of good triumphing over evil. The book itself is around 170 pages, which means it’s an ideal book to read yourself when you’re around eight to eleven years old. Of course, you can read it to younger ones too and the chapters are nicely spaced, so you get enough action in to keep them eager for more, but no-one’s bored senseless. The language does sound old-fashioned in some ways with phrases like ‘perfectly splendid’, ‘jolly good’ and ‘old chap’ being rarely heard these days. This doesn’t detract from the book though, but it may raise a few giggles from older readers. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, but it is by far the best known. There are seven novels in the set and I read them all in childhood, but this was the only one I read more than once. I would definitely rate this one in my all-time top ten children’s books. Overall, it’s a jolly good romp and a perfectly splendid book, old chap ;-)

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                    • Product Details

                      Four children discover that an old wardrobe gives them access to the magical land of Narnia.