July 31, 2012

Narnia Through New Eyes



You might remember that I had said that I'd be participating in the Narnia Reading Challenge hosted by Reading to Know this month.
Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge
I read The Magician's Nephew.  I chose it because I didn't remember anything about it other than the children crawling through an attic.  Then I opened the book, and I seriously wonder if I read the book in my sleep, because other than the beginning, I don't remember any of it.  Not even Aslan's Song.  Seriously, I may not have finished it during my first reading?!?!  I just don't know how I wouldn't remember three-fourths of it otherwise.

I did enjoy it, overall, because it was the beginning of Narnia, and C.S. Lewis wrote it knowing what the end product would already be.  Somehow, I didn't love when Aslan created Narnia though.  It was beautiful and poetic, but I think what made me a wee bit uncomfortable is that I, of course, began thinking of how God created Earth.  And we can't know exactly how it was done.  But I still enjoyed it.

More importantly, this year, I have gone to the other side.  Carrie had linked to this explanation of what order the Chronicles of Narnia books should be read.  That and a bit of other reading has made me decide that possibly chronological order, instead of published order, may be best.  BUT, and it's a BIG BUT, I still think The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe should be read first!  Otherwise, it's like finding out that Darth Vader is Luke's father before the big announcement.  (I give credit to my husband for that analogy.  Maybe we should trade mark it.)

In fact, during the reading challenge, my children and I read a few Narnia/LWW picture books, mentioned here.  This excited my children about diving into Narnia.  Actually, it excited Big Sister, age 5, which in turn, excited Brother, age 3.

(Unfortunately, Brother didn't have the opportunity to listen to the majority of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  We borrowed the unabridged version from the library before traveling to northeastern PA.  Because the children and I were staying for the week, but my husband only for the weekend, the kids rode in separate cars, and Brother was in the car in which the CD player does not work...actually it works fine, it just refuses to eject audio books from the library.)

Big Sister LOVED The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!  I'm sure much of it was the anticipation.  We were a couple hours into the latest Little House book on CD, when she asked if we could stop and listen to The Lion instead!  Since we had heard that particular title at least two or three other times, I agreed.

Big Sister was quite emotional at the parts where you'd expect.  But when asked what her favorite part was..."When the White Witch was killed!"  Her other favorite part was when Aslan came back to life.  When it was all over, she asked if we could get another Narnia book.  (She knew that I had been reading from The Chronicles of Narnia which has all seven books in one volume, though my cover is different.)

Personally, it's been about a year or more since I watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, but I was amazed at how close the book seemed to be to the movie.  I guess that is the advantage of reading after viewing the movie a few times.

As for my other Narnia reading, since we were away when we read for Narnia, I did not take Roar! with us-it's a pretty large book.  A Family Guide for The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe did get peeked at some, but not enough to really say I've read it.  I think my daughter and I may continue to discuss using it, if she is still interested.  (We just returned from our family visit...still recovering.)

Previously, when I read for the challenge, I read in preparation of the newest movies' arrival.  Now that the movies are on hold (if you can trust my Google searches), I am excited to read more...I wonder if maybe we'll honor Big Sister's request and read/listen to more soon!  Can't wait!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

3 comments:

  1. I very much agree about reading LWW first, despite whatever order the rest are read in. I can't imagine entering the world of Narnia any way other than that.

    I loved that the first movie was so close to the books. I wish the next two had been.

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  2. Ditto Barbara and yourself that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe should be read first. Beyond that, I'm rather fond of the chronological order myself (as opposed to the written or published order).

    My first introduction to Narnia was at five. My mom read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe aloud to myself, my older sister (6), and my younger brother (4). Anna and I loved it, but Josh's heart was more tender (and young) and he had a very hard time with Edmund visiting the White Witch's castle. I don't remember if Joshua finished listening along or if he stopped after that particular chapter.

    What I do remember is that that particular read-aloud (strangely, the only book I *remember* my mom reading out loud to us kids) was the beginning of a long love affair with all things Narnia--and, by extension, Lewis.

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  3. Reading the series and watching the movies is one thing on our Deployment bucket list! I can't wait to get started!!

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