By Kathleen, #7
The Chronicles of Narnia is one of the most popular series for young fantasy lovers all over the world. It consists of portals to another world, talking animals, evil witches, and the constant triumph of good over evil.
What’s not to love?
However, there is so much more to these amazing books for those who know where to look.
When I recommend them to other people, I joke that they’re ‘sacred’ at our house. It’s true that Dad reading them to us is a coming-of-age ritual. We have scores of quotes memorized for every occasion. We each have our own opinion’s on how Bree’s full name should be pronounced.
But these are all unique to our family. Every reader can appreciate the meaning behind every scene in the Chronicles.
It’s easy to see Aslan, the Great Lion, as an allegory for pure good and the White Witch for pure evil. If you look a little closer, though, you can see that not only is Aslan good, every good event in the books occurs through him. C.S. Lewis himself said that this was to convey that only by God’s grace can we be virtuous.
That can get a little heavy for an eight-year-old. But even a child can be shown the true meaning of Aslan’s death and return in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
“…though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know… She would have known that when a willing victim who had committted no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack, and Death itself would start working backward.”
Here’s Aslan’s resurrection: one of the best scenes in the movies!
This is the video of Aslan’s Resurrection in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Comment, rate and subscribe. Thanks for watching!
A young child can also be shown the rewards that compassion will bring. Because of the mice’s act of kindness in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, when they free Aslan’s corpse of its bindings, Reepicheep the Mouse is given back his ‘honor and glory’ in Prince Caspian.
There are so many lessons to be learned from The Chronicles of Narnia about faith, forgiveness, and courage.
If I’ve convinced you to introduce these amazing stories to your family, here are some tips to reading them:
Start with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Many people begin with The Magician’s Nephew. That book includes the birth of Narnia, so it’s popularly read as the first one. However, the best way to read the series (in my, ahem, opinion), is in the order that C.S. Lewis wrote them:
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Voyage of the Dawntreader
The Horse and His Boy
The Silver Chair
The Magician’s Nephew
The Last Battle
It’s more interesting to fit each piece of the story together yourself; when I was younger, I loved to guess what time of Narnia’s history the next book would take place in.
Listen to the music.
Many popular artists like Toby Mac and Jars of Clay wrote songs based off of the Chronicles. This is another great way to keep kids engaged with the books! My siblings and I loved to try to match each song with the book or character it was associated with. When I was little, my personal favorite was Turkish Delight by David Crowder, but I’ve grown to appreciate each one differently.
Turkish Delight performed by David Crowder Band From the album Music Inspired By Narnia I DO NOT OWN ANYTHING Lyrics: Stumbled through the doorway Into the strangest thing An unexpected magic land With snow beneath my feet Came across a lady who Dressed herself in white She took her coat
A boxed set makes a great gift.
It’s become a tradition to give each kid, as they head off to college and their adult life, a boxed set of The Chronicles of Narnia. Dad combs through 50 cent bins and used book sales for the copy of The Silver Chair that this or that set is missing. We never receive books with cover illustrations from the movie (shudder); no, we love the classic images of a newly-winged horse, a youth holding a sword over a chair, or a beautiful unicorn in the midst of battle.
The Chronicles are not only for children.
While centaurs and swordfights are certainly alluring to a younger crowd, the stories are beautiful and full of meaning, no matter how old you are! There are lessons to be learned for people of all ages. If you join your nine-year-old in hiding in closets, waiting for the back to open into a snowy forest, we won’t judge.
Once you enter Narnia, you never really forget it. It’s an awfully big wardrobe, and part of you always stays there. C.S. Lewis really nails it with this quote:
“Once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or queen.”