Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

C. S. Lewis
Illustrator:  Pauline Baynes 
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
HarperCollins, 2005   ISBN: 978-0064471046

When Lucy, Susan, Edmund and Peter are sent to live with their uncle, they never guess that soon they are going to have a most remarkable adventure in a magical world. Lucy is the first of the children to visit this world. One day she goes into a wardrobe and she discovers that the wardrobe doesn’t have a wall at the back of it. Instead she walks into a cold snowy wood in the land of Narnia. There she meets a very friendly faun called Mr. Tumnus who gives Lucy a wonderful tea and who also explains to her that Narnia is under the control of an evil White Witch. Because of the witch’s magic winter never leaves Narnia and Christmas never comes.

Not surprisingly, when Lucy goes back to her uncle’s house no one believes her story about the world that lies beyond the wall of the wardrobe. Edmund however soon makes his own journey to Narnia and there he meets none other than the White Witch herself. She quickly puts Edmund under her spell - a spell which makes him do and say dreadful things.

Not long after this event all four children get inside the magic wardrobe and all of them end up in the wood - together this time. To their horror they discover that poor Mr. Tumnus has been taken into custody by the White Witch. The children decide there and then that they have to do something to help the poor faun and they set off for the White Witch’s castle.

It soon becomes apparent that their quest is a much greater one than they supposed, for Aslan, the great lion, is back in Narnia. The children come to realize that it is time to overthrown the White Witch once and for all and free Narnia from her cruel rule.

This classic tale of good versus evil has truly stood the test of time. First printed in 1950 this first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series has not lost any of its appeal, its humour, and its characters are as fresh and entertaining as they were fifty-five years ago. Adults will have gave their younger children clamouring for more if they read the story aloud, and older children will have a hard time putting the book down once they have begun to read it.