The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Day 2 of #12daysofchristmas sees me recommending a children's classic. If you missed yesterday's recommendation, please click on the link below.
Coming in at #9 in the BBC Big Read is a children’s classic, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis. If, like me, you are of a certain age you will remember the BBC adaptation well. For me, the White Witch in the book is always the White Witch from this production. I felt super nostalgic reading this again.
This is the first published novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series, but is actually volume 2, set after the events of the Magician’s Nephew. It is fine to read as a standalone novel, but the author does recommend reading all the books in order. And this is a nice thing to do as it explains a little bit more about some of the items in Narnia, such as as why the lamppost is there when Lucy first enters Narnia.
Set in wartime England, 4 children; Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are evacuated to a country home to stay with their slightly eccentric godfather. During a game of hide and seek, Lucy enters the magical world of Narnia through an old wardrobe and meets a faun, Mr Tumnus.
Narnia is in eternal winter, imposed by the White Witch who rules over the land of Narnia. Lucy’s siblings don’t believe her when Lucy returns. Especially as the magical wardrobe has become just a wardrobe again. But then Edmund discovers the land of Narnia and becomes an agent of the White Witch who fears a terrible prophecy detailing 4 thrones to be filled by the sons and daughters of Eve.
As all 4 children discover this magical land, they join the side of Aslan. But with Edmund betraying the group, Aslan must make a terrible sacrifice. Can the children and Aslan ever defeat the White Witch?
At this point, you may be forgiven for thinking that apart from a little snow, how does this fit into Christmas? Christmas nostalgia and snow aside, this book is a Christmas book and I’m stamping my feet until you agree! The first reason is all of the magic; talking animals, stopping for tea, an adventure in a magical world only accessible through a wardrobe filled full of fur coats. There’s a sleigh with bells, Turkish delight. Still not convinced? Well Father Christmas makes a special appearance and hands out presents. My work here is done, this is a Christmas book.
The novel has a lot of religious imagery and parallels with the crucifixion of Christ. Even if you are not religious in any way, it is a wonderful children’s adventure. Tea, Cake and adventures in a magical world. I can entirely see how this found its place at number #9 on the BBC Big Read. It is certainly well deserved.
I'll be back tomorrow with the 3rd offering written by one of my favourite authors.
#12 Books of Christmas - The Box of Delights by John Masefield
#12 Books of Christmas - The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore