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C. S. Lewis' Letters to Children Paperback – June 3, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (June 3, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684823721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684823720
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up A collection of letters to children from C. S. Lewis that will enthrall Narnia lovers. Most children will skip the foreword by Lewis' stepson and the brief sketch of Lewis' childhood (although both are accessible to young readers) and go straight to the letters themselvesa selection arranged chronologically, with some deletions to promote clarity and eliminate repetition. Most of the letters concern Narnia, but there are also touching letters to Lewis' godchild. Some letters offer encouragement and advice to young writers. Often correspondence was carried on with the same children over a number of years, and the letters answer questions that children might still have. Some letters are preceded by explanations in brackets, and there are plenty of explanatory footnotes. Lewis' few theological discussions are not overwhelming and, except for a few instances, are quite clear. The bibliography includes books and other media and is divided into two sections, one of interest to children, the other for advanced readers, parents and teachers. Annette Curtis Klause, Montgomery County Libraries, Md.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This wonderful book is a collection of C.S. Lewis's responses to various childrens letters regarding Lewis's masterworks, the Narnia chronicles.
Gremio
The letters are full of useful, interesting information and express Lewis's greatest joys and deepest sorrows (i.e. the passing of his beloved wife, Joy).
D. Collier
I had read a few of his letters to children in an anthology before but this book is only letters to his younger fans, and Lewis is a pure pleasure to read.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Cipriano on January 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
It is said that as regularly as the mail arrived, professor Lewis sat down at his desk and personally responded... even if the correspondents were little children who had come to know of him through his Narnia books. In fact, he felt it was his God-given duty to do so! "C.S. Lewis: Letters to Children" is a collection of these heartfelt responses, spanning nearly 20 years (1944-1963).
Lewis's own direct contact with children was limited. He once said, "I theoretically hold that one ought to like children, but am shy with them in practice." (Letter to Arthur Greeves, Dec.'35). And in his "The Abolition of Man" he says (chap.1, para.11) "I myself do not enjoy the society of small children... I recognize this as a defect in myself." What he may have lacked in direct contact with children he certainly seems to have displaced with these personal letters, in which we see a lofty Oxford academic who is able to freely converse with children about such diverse topics as (of all things) Zoroastrianism, cats, the Gauls, Virgilian hexameter, the Renaissance, and his opinion that human faces are much easier to draw than animal faces. Never does he talk DOWN to his younger "friends". He usually signs off with an affectionate "yours ever"! And often he sprinkles a question or two of his own in a letter, which, rather than dismissing the sender, invites a response, showing he values these children. For example, an American girl (Joan) received 28 letters from Lewis over a 20 year period!
Why do I give this book a rating of 5 stars? Is the writing as deep, weighty, and significant as War & Peace? Not even remotely. But, to me, it is remarkable that an academician/author of the caliber of C.S.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By D. Collier on September 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This little book is short and very, very sweet. It reads almost like a literary fountain of youth. Each letter to each child is personal, enthusiastic, and never ever dull. Often, I'd read these letters, feeling sometimes that they were written just for me; not me, personally, but for all Lewis enthusiasts, especially the young and young at heart. The letters are full of useful, interesting information and express Lewis's greatest joys and deepest sorrows (i.e. the passing of his beloved wife, Joy).
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By David Graham on February 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
These eminently readable letters to children over the last 19 years of Lewis's life cover a surprisingly wide variety of topics (many being responses to thoughtful questions from the children who wrote to him). Most of the children began corresponding with Lewis after reading books from his CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series, and Lewis's responses are neither patronizing nor somber, but rather sincere and often humorous. Readers from gradeschool to adulthood levels will enjoy wandering through this lively correspondence.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gremio on June 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
This wonderful book is a collection of C.S. Lewis's responses to various childrens letters regarding Lewis's masterworks, the Narnia chronicles. This book is an intimate, sesitive collection, readable by all ages. This is a personal, gentle book, perfect for reading on a sunday afternoon. Each of the letters is kind and polite, even with or without the absence of the deeply personal questions. Lewis answers every single letter.
The cover image was nicely chosen, also. It is subtle, consisting of watercolors, giving the book a sort of light, delicate feel. It sets the feeling for the book perfectly. Everyone can read this book. Its is a thoughtful, touching collection.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "snarflemike" on May 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Every time I read another book by C.S. Lewis I become more grateful for his life and his writings. This book is a gem, and a wonderful window into Lewis' soul. He answers these children's letters with self-effacing grace and humor, and with a sincere respect for their opinions and their dignity. While being a great writer has no particular connection with being a good person, this book is, to me, irresistable evidence of Lewis' personal goodness. The Angler (as he once referred to God in "Surprised by Joy") snared a fine specimen when he snared the soul of C.S. Lewis.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gremio on June 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This wonderful book is a collection of C.S. Lewis's responses to various childrens letters regarding Lewis's masterworks, the Narnia chronicles. This book is an intimate,sesitive collection, readable by all ages. This is a personal, gentle book, perfect for reading on a sunday afternoon. Each of the letters is kind and polite, with or without the absence of the deeply personal questions. Lewis answers every single letter.
The cover image was nicely chosen, also. It is subtle, consisting of delicately drawn watercolors. It sets the feeling for the book perfectly. Everyone can read this book. It is a thoughtful, touching collection of letters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Miller on January 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
Lewis is largely known for his "Screwtape Letters," "Chronicles of Narnia," and "Mere Christianity." He ranges from the steeply theological to captivating children's fiction. What "Letters to Children" does is bridge the two worlds.

Bear in mind it is a collection of letters, not polished literature. You get a lot of asides and witticisms that one might say off-handedly to someone one never expects to talk to again. He thanks children for correcting the punctuation in his book. He always mentions the dreary weather in England. And he notes more than once that the children always seem to know who Aslan is, even when their parents don't get it.

But what is priceless about the book is that it captures a part of Lewis that he himself observes in his autobiographical essays. He is not particularly interested in or even familiar with children; he simply shares with them the same interest in great story-telling. Perhaps the best letter is the one in which he gives a little girl several tips on good writing. He encourages the children to write stories of their own. He almost discusses books with them the way you would expect him to with his colleagues at Oxford and Cambridge, and he gives children just that much respect. Lewis has an adult mind and a boy's heart, and that is why many of us continue to be in love with Lewis.

"Letters to Children" is a great read for the Lewis connoisseur who wants to know more of how his mind worked.
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