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The Chronicles of Narnia

January 8, 2013

Last year, I realized (to my great shame) that other than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I had never read The Chronicles of Narnia. Since December, I’ve been making my way through them. The main problem I’m having is that once I start one, not much else gets done (and I don’t sleep) until I’ve finished it. Because of this, I have to ration them out.

I know classics are classics for a reason, but the more I read, the more I’m amazed at C. S. Lewis’ writing abilities. The books were intended for children so the language is simple. Yet, the stories have charm that appeals to everyone. He uses phrases and situations that any child can understand. I also love reading about Aslan and the different characters’ reactions to him.

When I first started The Magician’s Nephew, I began writing down the phrases that appealed to me until I realized I would never get through the story that way. He is so unpretentious and honest in his writing. Who doesn’t know what he means when he says that “his face went the wrong sort of shape as it does if you’re trying to keep back your tears”? Any child can immediately imagine what Digory’s face looked like.

In The Horse and His Boy, Shasta doesn’t know how to use the horse’s reins because he was taught to ride by a talking horse. So, the first time he had to ride a regular horse “he looked very carefully out of the corners of his eyes to see what the others were doing (as some of us have done at parties when we weren’t quite sure which knife or fork we were meant to use) and tried to get his fingers right.” I think a person would be lying if they said they’d never done this – or something similar.

 

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My favorite quote so far is at the end of The Horse and His Boy when he is summing up what happened to everyone:

“Avaris also had many quarrels (and, I’m afraid, even fights) with Cor, but they always made it up again: so that years later, when they were grown up, they were so used to quarreling and making up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently.”

Do you have a favorite children’s book that you still enjoy reading as an adult?

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Marsha Bagley permalink
    January 8, 2013 19:19

    The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
    All the babies in my family get this book, and they also get me reading it to them for many years :-)

  2. Kendra permalink
    January 8, 2013 21:54

    I love how Lewis describes the creation of Narnia, with Aslan singing it into existence in The Magician’s Nephew. So beautiful. Tolkien does something similar in The Simarilian, and Neil Gaiman also tells a similar (well, Gaimen-esque) creation story (can’t remember where though). I just love the imagery of a world built through song.

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