Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,
by C.S. Lewis

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This hardcover version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was abridged by Amanda Benjamin and illustrated by Christian Birmingham. The illustrations are detailed, the faces are full of expression, and every picture has atmosphere. The pages are not numbered, but there are 46 pages counting from where the story begins. This book is suitable for ages 4 and up, with the older children getting more out of it. Amanda was 5 years old at the time that we did this review.

The opening scene has the four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy exploring the large country house of a kind old Professor. In this first picture you can see how we set the scene using a plastic doll house and the characters from the Disney movie with toys from McDonalds. The toys we got several years ago, but we still have them and they are really great.

Lucy is the first one to stumble upon the magical world of Narnia after entering the wardrobe in the spare room. She is invited to tea with Mr. Tumnus, a faun, whom she met by chance or by providence. We had tea and cookies at this scene. I had to explain to Amanda that when the English have tea, they have a meal with it. I think she's been somewhat Americanized by me and thought that it was incorrect to say that they were having tea when so much food was included. Hahaha!

I'm not going to tell you the whole story, as you need to read the book or at least watch the Disney movie. I'll only share snip-its to explain the scenes.

A little bit later, her brother Edmund ends up in Narnia after following Lucy through the wardrobe on her second visit. Edmund has a naughty streak and this gets him into trouble. He ends up meeting the White Witch, who gives him his favorite treat, Turkish Delight. He doesn't realize that it's enchanted and eats all of it up. Of course, we had to have some Turkish Delight ourselves to taste what he was enjoying, but ours was luckily not enchanted. And, if I might add, they were delicious!

By the way, I have been to Turkey and to Cyprus. The people in Cyprus are very proud of their Cyprus Delight, which is basically the same thing and very yummy, I might add. Amanda hasn't had these experiences, so it's fun introducing her to new things.

On Lucy's third visit to Narnia, all four of the siblings end up going together. The oldest two who hadn't been before realize for the first time that Lucy was telling the truth. They borrow fur coats from the wardrobe, as it is winter in Narnia.

At this point, I allowed Amanda to put on my fur coat, which was given to me when I was a teenager by my great aunt. She was an eccentric woman who enjoyed her role as aunt and great aunt as she never had children of her own. Now, I never asked to own a fur coat and I'm not sure what to do with mine, but I sometimes wonder what type of animal was used and if they were farmed, etc. We do care about animal rights at our home. We also eat meat, but we try to buy free range eggs and free range meat when we can.
The scene opposite is an exciting part of the story, especially when it's played out in the movie, where the children meet Father Christmas. Here we have the picture from the movie in front of the book's illustration. This picture also came with the Narnia toys from McDonalds years ago when the movie was showing in theaters/cinemas.

Father Christmas comes with news that Aslan is on the move and gives the children unusual gifts with special purposes. I put Aslan, the lion, in front, as he is a key part of the story. C.S. Lewis was a Christian author and the story of Aslan, especially in this book, has many similarities to Jesus and His death and resurrection. If you are a Christian or not, you will still enjoy The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as a great piece of children's fiction.

Disclosure: I did not receive anything for this review. All opinions are entirely my own.

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