Book Review: Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Book Review

“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

Roald Dahl

Reading is a habit which is essential for a growing mind. It helps children not only to learn more but also to expand their thinking. Fantasy books, such as Chronicles of Narnia, help the young minds to take a big leap forward. It helps them broaden their horizons and opens their minds to new possibilities so that they start imagining things they had never even thought about.

Also Read: “Developing the Habit of Reading in Children”

Author: C S Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British writer. His parents were avid readers and so was Lewis and his brother. He was a child prodigy who had started reading by the time he was 3 years old. By the time he was 5 years of age he had begun writing stories about a fantasy land populated by “dressed animals”. He wrote over 30 books which were translated in over 30 languages and sold millions of copies. Chronicles of Narnia was the most sold set of books.

Age Range

It is fit for children who are 7+ years. The language is simple to follow.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The book is about four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy who are sent from London to an old house in the country to escape the ravages of World War II. Lucy finds a magical wardrobe which leads to the fantasy land of Narnia and befriends a talking fawn, Mr Tumnus. The wicked White Witch has made herself the Queen of Narnia and has put a spell in the land for perpetual winter. With the coming of the 4 children into the land, the return of the lion, Aslan, a prophecy is fulfilled which leads to a battle between good and evil.

It has many references to Bible stories. However, a child who doesn’t know the stories or is not a Christian, can also enjoy the story without knowing the references as well. My son had a question only about ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ for which I told him the story.

Overall, it is a wonderful book for all ages. It is written in a simple language and is interspersed with illustrations which help the children in bringing the story visually alive in their minds.

It is a very well written and well-described fantasy. Any such fantasy book helps to develop lateral thinking and creativity in children. They start thinking beyond the obvious. Reading fantasies gives a creative boost to the minds of young children and I would recommend that every child should read a few fantasy books (Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter series etc).

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A takeaway for parents from the book is to keep an open mind when children are telling them something. The professor was the one who believed in Lucy even when her own siblings did not. “Keep your minds open to other possibilities.”

Some Points to Keep in Mind

One thing that you might have to prep the children for, is the way the people speak to each other. Given that the book was published in 1950 and is set during World War II, the way people speak is different from the dialogues of contemporary books.

The other thing I would recommend is getting your children to read the book before they watch the movie. They will not enjoy the book as much after watching the movie. It will also prevent them from making their own visuals of the story. Instead, the movie scenes would go through their minds as they read.

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