Thursday, June 25, 2009

Read Aloud Thursday - Narnia

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the Word
I Love Read Aloud Thursday. (That needs to be the next button that Amy creates. Ha!) I plan ahead for them which means I think through what I want to read with my son. It gives us purposeful reading time together which we both enjoy. It gives us a chance to explore things I might have previously thought were too far above his reading level - and then I delightfully discover (time and time again) that that is not the case. What's NOT to love about Read Aloud Thursdays?

Chronicles of Narnia Reading ChallengeFor the next two weeks we'll be focusing on The Chronicles of Narnia, in conjunction with the Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge that I'm hosting here at Reading to Know. I love Narnia and I hope to see my son grow to love it also. At age 2 1/2 I wasn't sure how much I should expose him to just yet. After all, it's hard to explain dwarfs, elves and white witches. The concept that there is a battle between good and evil hasn't really sunk in to yet and I don't want to give him too much information before he's ready to properly deal with things like that. Still, I hope to make him familiar with the stories and characters and present this particular series by C.S. Lewis in a way that is fun and exciting.

Thankfully (and I've talked about this book before) a dear friend of mine gifted us with The World of Narnia Collection when I was pregnant with Bookworm1. (Just to show how much I love Lewis and the world he created, we named Bookworm1 after the author. First name? Middle name? Take a guess!)

Within the The World of Narnia Collection are two stories that seem to suit our reading level/comprehension at the moment. First there is the rather "benign" tale of Lucy going into the wardrobe and entering into the land of Narnia. Here we meet Mr. Tumnus ("What is THAT, Mommy!?") and discover that the Land of Narnia is very cold and full of magical snow. There is some discussion of The White Witch but she does not make an appearance in this particular story. Mostly this book focuses on the wardrobe and Lucy's visit with Mr. Tumnus. The illustrations by Deborah Maze are soft, warm and inviting. She uses more pastels than dark, bold colors making the scenes feel very non-threatening in this particular story. (Hey, strange creatures such as fauns could be very threatening if not well done!) We also watched this particular video clip (a few times) to become more familiar with the characters:

The second story we read was Edmund and the White Witch. I was a little nervous about reading this one to him just yet but again the illustrations are such that it didn't seem creepy to him. The White Witch in these pictures is more beautiful than scary and the dwarf just looks like a little man with a beard and is not fearsome or intimidating at all. Not to say that the illustrator demystified Lewis' creatures and creations. She just makes it easier to introduce younger children to Narnia without it feeling like a scary world. I can appreciate that! (We didn't watch any Youtube videos in connection with this particular story, in case you were wondering!)

Now. For a fun little giveaway. (And it is little, but it is also fun!) I was at Goodwill the other day and I found two "brand new" (i.e, still in the package) Mr. Tumnus McDonald's Happy Meal Toys. I bought both, of course, and Bookworm 1 has been playing with the little Mr. Tumnus (who is also a whistle! oh yay) and the little diarama that comes with him. Like I said, I bought two which means I have a spare Mr. Tumnus to give away if one of you would like to win him. He's still in the plastic wrapping package that he came in and it comes with his home (which pictures Lucy sitting in the chair). If your kids might like some fun play, well then - here's Mr. Tumnus.

To win? Leave a comment below (U.S. Residents only please). You don't have to be a participant in the Narnia Reading Challenge to win. The contest will run until next Thursday (July 2nd) at which point I'll have another children's Narnia giveaway. So stay tuned.


bekahcubed said...

I don't particularly need or want a Tumnus toy--but I'm loving that you're introducing your son to Lewis early.

My mom read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to us out loud when my sister was in first grade, I was in kindergarten and my next younger brother was 3 or 4. We all did just fine until Edmund was stuck in the White Witch's castle--that's when Joshua started having a really hard time with it. He was a really empathetic little guy and that part of the story was just too much.

And you named your son after Lewis, huh? I'm gonna guess you named him Staples. Am I right? :-P

Annie said...

I love this idea! I've fallen off the wagon as far as reading aloud and I think that's largely because I'm extremely tired of all our board books and little-little-kid books. My oldest is almost 3 but my middle is only 1 1/2 (and youngest is 2 mos but he sleeps through it!) so I'm trying to keep them both interested. I think I might try a kid's version of Narnia; don't have one on hand, but I -heart- my local library so I'll get it there. In the meantime... I'll find something else and we'll have read aloud time today. Thanks for reminding me to include this precious time in our lives. I want my children to grow up loving stories and books.
Oh, and my daughter would LOVE the Tumnus toy...

Sky said...

I was worried about exposing our boys to battles and fast paced story lines that involved good and evil and life and death, but I must say they are even more blood thirsty then I thought! They absolutely love the battle sequences in Narnia, they love that they can count on Aslan to be ruler and they love the brothers and sisters who fight together. They were quite forgiving of Edmund and even remarked that we all make mistakes and family should always forgive each other!
Tavis commented the other day that when our Chinese baby is older they can all play Narnia together because they need two boys and two girls. I found this comment a little amazing because our plans for adoption are quite a ways down the road and we do not often talk about it with the kids. They sure file away information! For some reason Mr Tumnus was hard for them to get used to but they found the centaurs believable!

Janet said...

Those books look really neat. I haven't seen them around, but my daughters enjoy the audiobooks of the Narnia series. I've read 2 to them, and left the rest to Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Branagh, etc...

My kids often surprise me with how well they can handle some things I would expect to scare them.

We don't need the Mr Tumnus, but I love that your little guy (Staples? Clive? Lewis?) is playing with him.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Look at you, Carrie, combining two challenges AND a give away! You go, girl! :-)

We have a couple of those books in paperback from Chic-Fil-A of all places. (They do give the best stuff in their kids meals.) Wardrobe is actually the chapter book we're reading aloud, and despite my hesitancy, we've been able to plow through three or four chapters with only one minor moment of upset. I think it might be because the girls had already been introduced to the story through those paperbacks. I think I feel another blog post coming on. . . :-)

Have a great Thursday, Carrie!

Mermaid2x said...

What a great giveaway. I have been introducing my kids to CS Lewis early as I was also introduced early as a child. The books are such positive tales. Thanks for the chance to win.

rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

Heather VanTimmeren said...

Oooohhhh! I just remembered that I have a Mr Beaver (from a happy meal) in a box somewhere. I'll have to dig it out. We also have a couple of the easy readers from Chick-fil-a, and they are very simple introductions to the story with pictures from the movie. I can't wait to read aloud the full stories to my kids!

CinemaSista said...

OMG!! I can't tell you how much I would love this particular toy! lol I am a huge James McAvoy fan! He played Mr. Tumnus so beautifully too. Mr. Tumnus and Aslan are my favorite characters. Thank you for giving the chance to win, I wouldn't know where to find one of these! =D

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