Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The World of Narnia Collection, illustrated by Deborah Maze

The World of Narnia Collection was gifted to us when our son was born by a friend who knew how much we loved C.S. Lewis. We love C.S. Lewis and admire him so much that our son's middle name is, in fact, Lewis. (Our admiration runs deep, you might say.)

I'd never seen an "adaptation" of Narnia until I was given this book. As I cracked the cover open I wasn't sure what to expect but I was delighted with the contents. This wonderfully illustrated book allows children of a younger age to be introduced to Narnia (specifically through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe sooner than plain black & white text with few illustrations would otherwise invite them in. This book makes Narnia attractive, even to our two year old son (who has a growing fascination with Aslan). (To be fair though, I think the fascination lies mostly in the fact that Aslan is a lion - not because he is Aslan.)

There are lots of strange creatures in Narnia which could easily frighten little kids. The way that Maze choose to illustrate various scenes though eases the fear factor and makes the story more intriguing. For example, she continously uses lighter colors and pastels instead of dark, bold colors. You wouldn't normally think to look for this distinction unless you are the parent of a two year old who isn't so sure about Heffalumps and Woozles and then you start to notice the way centaurs are portrayed, etc.

This book is earmarked for ages 5-9 and I would say that is entirely accurate. Our son can handle most of the book, but we do skip the last of the four stories (Aslan's Triumph) because of some of the battle scenes. He has plenty of time in the future for those. Right now we flip through the first three stories which detail the following Narnia adventures:

1. In Lucy Steps Through the Wardrobe children are introduced to the concept of Narnia and Lucy's entrance through the wardrobe and her first meeting with Mr. Tumnas the faun.

2. In Edmund and the White Witch Edmund enters Narnia and meets the opposition. Again, given Maze's choice of colors, there is nothing instantly alarming to a younger child.

3. In Aslan the four Pevensie children enter the wardrobe and are introduced to the savior figure. There is only one "scary" page in this particular story when the White Witch is about to kill Edmund, only to be interrupted by some of Aslan's army. We skip that page.

4. In Aslan's Triumph we hear the story of Aslan's sacrifice on the stone table. The story ends, of course, with a triumphant battle on the part Aslan's army and the four Pevensie children are crowned the kings and queens of Narnia.

As this is a collection of stories, a lot of the information in each individual story overlaps with the other. You can also buy the books seperately but I think by purchasing The World of Narnia Collection your children can pick up on the complete story.

I'm glad we own this and another thanks to the gifter of this marvelous book! We recommend it to others also.

1 comment:

Sky said...

never heard of this before, as usual you have given me yet ANOTHER book I need to have!
Thanks for the review Carrie!

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