Monday, February 5, 2018

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

Pages: 220
Genre: Children's/Middle Grade
Pub. Date: October 16, 1950
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Library
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

Goodreads says, "The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, completed in the winter of 1949 & published in 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund & Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Prof. Digory Kirke's house that leads to the magical land of Narnia, which is currently under the spell of a witch. The four children fulfill an ancient, mysterious prophecy while in Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan (the Turkish word for lion) & his army save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who's reigned over the Narnia in winter for 100 years."





To avoid the air-raids during the war, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy leave London for the English countryside. They stay at a professor's large home and while exploring it they come across a large wardrobe. During a game of hide and seek, Lucy, the youngest child, hides in the wardrobe and accidentally stumbles upon a hidden land within the wardrobe. This land is Narnia and it's under the White Witch's spell, which makes it perpetually winter, but never Christmas! While there Lucy meets a faun, Mr. Tumnus, and they become friends. He takes her back to the wardrobe and she can't wait to tell her siblings about Narnia, but there's one major problem. They don't believe her.  Edmund follows Lucy into Narnia without her knowing, but of course upon his arrival back home Edmund doesn't back up Lucy's story of its existence.  Eventually all four siblings do go back to Narnia, unexpectedly and while there they find out Mr. Tumnus has been taken by the White Witch.  And from here the adventure ensues.  The classic story, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is an exciting tale of good versus evil and includes a lot of action that children will appreciate.

I really enjoyed the characters of Peter, Susan, and Lucy in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Edmund drove me nuts with his betrayal, but obviously Lewis did that on purpose.  I was so disappointed that he wouldn't back up Lucy's story about Narnia. But in the end, this story does examine the importance of forgiveness.  Since this was written in 1950, it had the girls casted in traditional gender roles, but other than that I enjoyed the Pevensie children.

I loved all the adventure in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was so much fun! My son and I read it together and we were on the edge of our seats, especially when it came to the fight scenes or anything with Aslan, the lion king.  

The writing style is easy for kids to follow; in fact there are some parts where C.S. Lewis speaks directly to the reader, so that was definitely unique.   However, I didn't appreciate a lot of the Christian symbolism in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe though.  I thought it was a little too much at times, but only older readers will really pick up the bulk of it.

There are other books in this series and I am not sure if we will continue with it at this time, but it was definitely an exciting adventure and a fantastic read-aloud.  So, if you are looking for a fun read-aloud or book to share with your young one, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a classic that shouldn't be missed. It's on sale for $1.99 as an ebook; that's a steal!



10 comments:

  1. These were favorites when I was a kid, and I’ve gone back to revisit several of them as an adult, with varying results. The fantasy-adventure parts are still excellent; Lewis can work some magic, for sure. But some of the stuff -- not just the gender normative stuff that you’d expect from a product of that time, but some real racist stuff -- was so terribly hard to swallow as an adult.

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    1. I didn't pick up on too much racism in this book, but I'm sure I wasn't reading closely enough. I did pick up on a lot of sexism, which was difficult as well as a lot of the Christian symbolism. I agree that some stuff is definitely harder to swallow than others. Thanks for visiting!!

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    2. yeah, the most glaring racism was from the books featuring any of the Calormenes, not in this one.

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    3. Gotcha. I was going to say that I didn't catch anything overly racist in this book, but the traditional gender roles were pretty annoying. Thanks for the heads up!

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  2. I love this book and read it for the first time just a few years ago. I think it's perfect for kids and adults! I agree, the symbolism can be a bit much at times, but I didn't really mind it too much.

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    1. I agree! My son didn't pick up on a lot of the symbolism like I did and really enjoyed the story. Thanks for visiting, Angela!

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  3. I read this book when I was a kid, but I don’t remember it very well. It’s probably time for a reread. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. It's definitely fun to revisit childhood stories as an adult. I don't know how I missed this one as a kid! Thanks for visiting, AJ!

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  4. Love these. Favorites of both my husband and I! I read this one as a kid, but reread it and the rest of the series as an adult. Wonderful stories ♥

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    1. I could see how it would be enjoyable to read the rest of the series as an adult! I am so glad I finally read this book; I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it as well. Thanks for visiting, Becky!

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