on November 12, 2001
The Chronicles of Narnia remain favorites for me, well into my 4th decade. But I have to ask: When did the publisher resequence them? I can see that they are now in chronological order, but I find the original sequence more logical and compelling as a story.
The original was 1. Lion, 2. Caspian, 3. Dawn Treader, 4. Silver Chair, 5. Horse/Boy, 6. Magician's Nephew, and 7. Last Battle.
This puts the creation of Narnia within the context of the storyline. I can remember the epiphany of The Magician's Nephew the first time I read it in grade school. I felt like I was uncovering hidden secrets. I don't think it would stand alone as well.
So, if you're planning to introduce these to your kids (and I hope you do!) consider the original sequence - I think you and your children will enjoy it more.
on June 17, 2005
This book is based on the novel by C.S. Lewis and is therefor not the actual text. It is a well written summary of the story, which can be read aloud in one sitting to young children without losing their interest. The book introduces them to the classic tale in a way that is appropriate for them. The text goes very well with the illustrations, which are gorgeous. It is written in a way that keeps the children wanting to turn the pages to see what happens to the characters. While it's true that the message of the story is diluted, it would be easy for an adult familiar with the novel to add little bits of age appropriate explanation here and there so the children get more of the intended message if they wish to do so.
I really like this book, and have used it with my preschool class (children of ages 3 1/5 to 4) and with kindergarteners (ages 5-6). At first I thought it was a little risky because the text is much longer than most picture books we use with the younger ones, and some of the children have really short attention spans. But I also felt the story was good enough and the illustrations interesting enough to keep their attention. I was right. The children listened intently and wanted to know everything about the story. It was beautiful to see how even children as young as 3 were enjoying the tale by C.S. Lewis in a circle time setting at school. I recommend this book to parents and teachers who love Narnia and want to introduce it to young children who are not quite ready to read the original text.
on April 24, 2011
Being a Narnia fan I was excited to see that "A Celebration of the First Edition" of LWW was published. This is a hardcover with dustjacket and includes one color illustration of Aslan playing with Susan and Lucy. The first few pages are different but the story printing on each page coincides with the first edition. The reason I gave it only 3 stars is there are several pages in the story where the ink must have been running short on the printer because some of the words are difficult to make out. Also, the book boards are covered with paper not cloth and the pages are glued not sewn. The Chronicles of Narnia have such a huge following. I think I speak for all book fans of this series in saying I wish a publisher would get it right. Print the Chronicles of Narnia as they were originally published including cloth boards and sewn pages. A little quality in this product would be a huge seller.
on June 22, 1999
The first book in the famous allegorical Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series for children. Four English school children (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) visit an old Professor to avoid the air raids in London during World War II. They discover an "entrance" to a world of fantasy through a wardrobe. It is a world that will change them forever. They assist the golden lion Aslan to defeat the White Witch who has cursed Narnia with eternal winter: the classic conflict of good vs. evil. This is the first in the Chronicles to be published. However, "The Magician's Nephew" relates events that take place before the events in this book and many, including the publisher, suggest that individuals read that book first. I disagree. I think the series flows much better when read in the order of their publication. As one reads the series, particularly with the last volume, one become more attuned to the spiritual aspects of the tales. And in responce to muchadoaboutlisa from Australia (of May 6, 1999), as we can tell from the last volume, Narnia does exist.
on August 15, 2005
I don't mind the truncation of the story. I don't think Aslan appears weak. But the writing is technically very poor. It is absolute ellipsis *hell*. Check out this unmodified passage from the first/second page (it has a nasty habit of splitting sentences across page turns):
"And of course, right here on this side of the wardrobe, were four children ... Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy ... all of them longing for adventure. Lucy, the youngest, and most longing, was first to push past the furry coats ... [turn page] ... and find herself in a snowy wood, under a streetlamp ... where the Witch's wickedness had made it always winter."
It's just awful reading this to my daughter. I am tempted to make up my own version.
on February 4, 2013
At the time I am writing this, the product listing still says
"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (picture book edition) (Narnia) [Hardcover]
C. S. Lewis (Author), Tudor Humphries (Illustrator)"
(Look at the top of the page).
The author is INCORRECTLY LISTED as C. S. Lewis. He did write the story on which a movie was based, and then this book was probably based on another book that was based on the movie. C.S. Lewis wrote several versions of this story, including some beautiful picture books for children. This is not one of them.
With all due respect to the writer who edited... no, who RE-WROTE this story...this is 1) not written with the tone or style of C.S. Lewis's original, and 2) shortened in a way that shows this new writer does not care as much as C.S. Lewis did about the children themselves, who are the reason for the story. Just look at the first couple of pages. Nothing about wartime, the train ride from London into the country, or finding their way to the big old house which is home to the infamous Wardrobe. The children were already on a journey of adventure before they ever got to Narnia, and this writer doesn't even mention the backstory.
In my view, the storytelling here was not a children's edit of C.S. Lewis original work, at all. At best it is a children's edit of the adult "pictures from the movie" book.
Very dissapointing. I returned mine.
This is either the first (published) book in the Narnia series, or the second (chronologically), but order is not important when reading this excellent book.
This is an Alice in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass type of fairy tale adventure story for all ages, as told by a favorite Sunday school teacher with a strict biblical syllabus.
Four children find an unusual way into Narnia, now under the witch's icy spell, and their experiences pave the way for the future of this magical country.
"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bears his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again."
Chock full of mythical creatures and talking animals, the story progresses at an exciting gallop. Even Father Christmas puts in an appearance with some very useful gifts for our heroes.
The Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve experience compassion, bravery, generosity, greed and betrayal, sacrifice, martyrdom, suffering and redemption on their way to maturity before ascending to their rightful places in Narnian history.
The ressurection and later miracles by the great and powerful King Aslan, the significance of the stone table and the great battle between good and evil are powerful symbols of faith.
Read it first,read it last, but certainly read this book.
Amanda Richards August 2, 2004
on March 6, 2003
The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe is an adventure and mysterious book of four kids, and an unknown world beyond. Lucy, Edmund, Peter, and Susan get sent to live with a professor because of a war back in London. While the four explore the mysterious mansion and play games, Lucy finds a secret wardrobe with a country just beyond.
C.S. Lewis�s story of, The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe is one of the greatest books and definitely one I loved to read!
Lucy was the first to go to the magical land beyond of snow, a place called Narnia. As soon as she finds her way out, tales are told to the others about all the different creatures and things inside of the wardrobe. But all they seem to think of her is that she is a crazy liar. But soon to find out Lucy wasn�t lying at all, it was a magical place they saw for themselves. With an evil spell the White Witch made it always winter but never Christmas. Trouble begins when Edmund betrays the others (not knowing anything about her) and takes side with the Witch. Because of Edmund�Lucy, Peter, and Susan need to get Aslan (a lion) to change everything and defeat the White Witch himself to break the spell and get Edmund back with them.
This book�s theme can let you learn that you should always think and know before you except upon others. Well at least that�s what I learned.
I loved how C.S. Lewis made parts of the book where you thought one thing was going to happen, but then after you read on, you find out you were totally wrong. That was the best thing about this book!
I would let people of all ages read this adventures novel, no matter how old you are. It�s a book that you wont be able to stop reading once you start! But what will happen to Edmund, and will Aslan make the Narnia change? Your going to have to read it to find out!
on November 12, 2015
The book was great, can't go wrong with C.S Lewis. The problem I had was I bought this book because it appeared to match the other books I have in the series that I already own. I couldn't have been more wrong. What I got was a completely different old edition. Not only was the picture deceitful, but no where in the description did it indicate that I would be getting some random edition. I thought what I saw was what I would get, that was not the case and I'm not pleased about it.
In my humble opinion, THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE is the finest children's story of the past century. The story contains both enormously imaginative touches combined with childlike simplicity, and the solid yet uncomplex prose belies a story of great sophistication. It also is a story intended for children, yet so respectful of their intelligence that adults can read it with equal appreciation.
There should be absolutely no controversy about where this novel should come in the seven-novel sequence that comprises The Chronicle of Narnia: it is the first, and it is required to be the first both by the quality of the novel and by the way it fits into the overall structure of the series. Shifting it from the first spot in the series to the second is quite possibly the worst publishing decision of which I am aware. The justification for the change is exceedingly weak. A child wrote Lewis saying that in their opinion the series should be read beginning with THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW, which tells, among other things, of the creation of Narnia. Therefore, they felt that THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW should be the first and THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE second, with a subsequent reordering of the other books to reflect the chronology of Narnia instead of the kids that discover Narnia. Lewis replied that he agreed, and this agreement is used as the excuse to reorder the books. I have two huge problems with this. First, my guess is that Lewis was, as a wise adult will often do, affirming the child rather than stating his conviction that the books should be reordered. Second, even if Lewis did think the books should be reordered, it is not clear that he actually would have authorized it actually being done, nor that he would have resisted the efforts of any decent publisher to point out to him that reordering was a dreadful idea. Why? Because what is so magical about the original ordering of the series is that it focuses on the extremely subjective experience of the discovery of Narnia by children. The original order maintains a chronology based on its exploration and discovery by children and in reading the books that is going to be the concern of any child or childlike adult in reading the story. Who cares about the narrative from the standpoint of Narnia when the far greater concern is the narrative from the standpoint of children? A lesser but still pertinent criticism of the reordering is that it places one of the weakest novels in the sequence in the first position. When I first read the series, THE MAGICIAN'S NEWPHEW was, along with THE SILVER CHAIR and A HORSE AND HIS BOY, the weakest stories in the sequence. Why put your worst foot forward? The Narnia books are about to be made into a series of feature films by the Disney studios, and they have quite correctly decided to film the books in the original and correct order.
As noted initially, THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE is a nearly perfect story. The manner in which the children first discover Narnia, by entering it through the back of an ordinary wardrobe, is the most exciting entrance into a magical land at least since THE WIZARD OF OZ and probably ALICE IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. What they discover is a land under the worst of all possible curses: it is always winter, but never gets to be Christmas. The land is temporarily ruled by a beautiful but evil witch who entices children with Turkish Delight. As literature it is all so delightfully perfect, and one marvels that an enormously literate Oxford don could have written it, though perhaps not so surprising when remembering that another Oxford professor, the mathematician and logician Rev. Charles L. Dodgson, wrote ALICE IN WONDERLAND under the pseudonym of Lewis Carroll.
Of course, Narnia isn't really ruled by the witch, but by a magnificent, enormous lion by the name of Aslan, who, as we are often reminded, is not a tame lion. Anyone reading Narnia will instant recognize a host of parallels between Aslan and Jesus, known as the Lion of Judah, but Lewis cautioned that no one should imagine Aslan a mere Christ figure: he is Lewis's conception of what Christ would have been like had he been incarnated into a magical land called Narnia as a great lion. During the course of the book Lewis retells the story of the death and resurrection of Christ through the character of Aslan, yet he ever gets to the point of preaching or dogmatism. A very close friend of mine, raised Jewish, was aware of the Christ overtones of the story, yet still declared that it was her favorite book as a child.
This is also one of the books with the largest potential audience of which I know. I first read and loved it in college, but elementary school children can delight in reading it, and even younger children can love having it read to them. And it would take a pretty somber and sober adult to not be seduced by its beautiful simplicity. Absolutely no one should deny themselves the joys of exploring Narnia, but make sure you start your tour with this book and not another.