This book is so much a part of my childhood that I cannot remember even roughly when I read it. I have just always read it; I feel as if I was born having already read this book. I do remember being aged 8 and getting into the rest of the series because there were some beautifully illustrated editions in my school library but as for the first one…
I can’t even think what to say about it. Okay, let’s try. To start with evacuees seemed like the coolest thing to me as a child, going on an adventure without your parents great right? Then we have a magical land, you know how I feel about those, talking animals and a battle between good and evil? It has all the elements I love and was the first fantasy adventure type I read which lead the way for more stories in the same vein such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Yet Narnia, as I shall call it to avoid having to type out the enormous title, has an innocence that the others don’t; it feels so much more like a children’s book. Perhaps that is why I think of it with a fondness that I do not associate with the others. Although there is danger you never feel worried whilst reading it because you know Aslan has got your back.
Which leads me on to the incredibly heavy religious messages in this book. Even as a child, at whatever age I was when I first read it, I got the message that Aslan was Jesus. It is as subtle as a sledge hammer with crucifixes engraved on it being wielded by the Pope. But, for me, that doesn’t spoil the story because whether you are a Christian or not the message of courage and self sacrifice is universal. As is the idea of redemption. It is nice to know as a child that your mistakes can be forgiven and that you can make amends for bad choices. Oh I am so incredibly fond of this book. I know I definitely checked the back of my wardrobe in the hope of finding another world.
Would recommend to: Parents to read as a bedtime story.