Sunday, 15 December 2013

Booky Advent Calendar Day 15 - 15th December 2013 - "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis (HarperCollins Children's Books)

Booky Advent Calendar Day 15
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Written by C.S Lewis
Illustrated by Pauline Baynes

Published by HarperCollins

I think this book reminds me of Christmas for two reasons. One: I remember first reading it during some of the worst snows of the 70s, when I was a thin-trousered little waif at Bounds Green Junior School. It was so cold during the winter that we were actually allowed to spend lunchtime playtime in the library - an unheard of privilege, and for me a genuine pleasure.

Two: It is, of course, shot through with christmas atmosphere from start to finish. The tale of the Pevensey Children, sent to the countryside during WWII to stay at a rambling old house kept by an eccentric old professor. It's a harsh place at first, a dragon-like housekeeper keeps the children in line but during a game of hide and seek, Lucy Pevensey discovers a huge wardrobe - and darting inside, finds a hidden world beyond the fur coats hanging there.

The rest, as they say, is book history. The most popular of the Chronicles of Narnia, regarded by many as C.S. Lewis' meisterwork, and a book that has been scrutinised and allegorised by academics for generations.

Right at the heart of it all, the good vs evil story is full of excitement and adventure - and of course C.S. Lewis was a man ahead of his time, learning a trick that so many other popular children's authors also learned fairly early on. Put ordinary children at the heart of the story, make them the heroes, and you'll never want for an appreciative audience.

I swear this book also contributes to christmas sales of turkish delight and hot chocolate too. No bad thing, in our opinion.

Charlotte's best bit: When Aslan comes back to life to defeat the white witch. YAY!

Daddy's Favourite bit: My mum living a stone's throw away from the real inspiration for Narnia (and being able to visit it)