Before I even get started I must admit that this is not my favorite book in The Chronicles. It reminds me alot of A Series Of Unfortunate Events (now that would take a long time to review). Yet, that being said, it is also the most foundational book in the series. I put off writing this review because I knew I’d have to review the rest once I got started…which requires me rereading the entire series. Not that I don’t want to read them- anywho, a lot of to-do about nothing. 🙂
I shall start with the plot:
A boy (Digory)and girl (Polly) are neighbors and become friends. Their friendship leads to the discovery of a connection between their homes. They follow the tunnel to a room and in the room they run into the magician. Through the use of some magic rings (kindly supplied by the magician) Polly and a very reluctant Digory are transported to a different world. From there the encounter a witch, magic pools, talking animals, growing lamp posts, and learn how a person’s actions ultimately affect the end result.
Reasons I really like this book:
#1. I love how amazingly well Lewis adapts the Genesis creation account into the story (Earth as Narnia, Frank and Helen as Adam and Eve, Jadis as satan, Aslan and so on and so forth). It would take me forever to come up with something so different yet so parallel to the original. That is the best thing about this book.
#2. Digory and Polly would have made great siblings, what with all of their squabbling. I’m not sure, but I think the petty fights almost endears them to you.
#3. When Digory rag the bell….I’m afraid that if I’d been Polly I would have left Digory there as soon as he let go of her arm (though the results probably wouldn’t have varied much).
#4. I really liked the aunt. She had no qualms with telling the witch exactly what she thought of her. 😀
#5. Polly’s punishment for ‘going off to a park without telling anyone’.
#6. Frank and Helen as Adam and Eve. Only Helen didn’t get tempted to eat the fruit- Digory was.
#7. The Tree that Digory planted in Narnia.
#8. Strawberry becoming Fledge. He had great wisdom for a horse, such as when Digory and Polly wanted something to eat for lunch. They wonder why Aslan didn’t prepare one for them ahead of time, and Strawberry replies that He knew they would need food but He probably wanted them to ask (not sure if I really worded that right). It reminds of the verse in Matthew about how God knows what we need before we ask Him, and then it goes into the Lord’s prayer (and, thus, ‘give us this day our daily bread’). And then the toffee tree grows. 🙂
#9. The Golden gates and how one should not climb over the wall but come in through the gates. It corresponds well with the verse in John (10:1) “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”
#10. The tree that sprang up where the apple core and magic rings were buried. Which, in turn, was made into a wardrobe- sufficiently setting the scene for the next book. 😉
#11. Digory actually apologizing when Polly confronted him.
I could go on and on but if you haven’t already read the book I don’t want to ruin it for you.
There are two (just two) things I did not like about this book that are not essential to the story line.
#1. A few bad words.
#2. I know Digory was mad at his Uncle (and he had a right to be) but I think he could’ve curbed his tongue a little.
You really should read this book (and the entire series), I’d recommend it for all ages- mostly because I read it to my siblings and they’re of all ages. 😀 Now I’m off to read The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe ( I’ll include a movie review on that one).
Ps. See if you can figure out what everything symbolizes (ie, the lamp post, uncle Andrew, Digory, Aslan, etc.).
This is an excellent book; the first in a series known as the Chronicles of Narnia.
This book I would highly recommend for children of all ages (though some children younger than eight may find it a bore) and adults of all ages too.
As C.S Lewis himself said:” A children’s story which is only enjoyed by children is a bad children’s story.”
This book is a resemblance (not exact, but you will see the similarities as you read) to the garden of Eden.
It begins with a young boy (whose mother is very ill) moving to his aunt and uncle’s home in London so that they can help his mother (hopefully) get well.
Well, Digory (the young boy) is lonely and makes friends with the next door neighbor’s daughter, a young girl named Polly. The two of them are sent to a strange world by Digory’s uncle, an eccentric magician that definitely leaves you wondering if he has any sanity left at all. Polly, ever the adventurous one, finds that this new world has different pools to jump into to get into different worlds. The two then jump into one and come upon a world that seems frozen in time.Polly finds a gong, and an overwhelming curiosity has Digory sounding it in a few minutes (much to their regret later). In answer to the call of the gong, a strong, tall, royal looking woman wakes up. She really gives you the chills! I mean, she’s freaky! In order to escape her, the children jump back through the pool using the magical rings Digory’s uncle gave them, but to their horror she comes right along with them as she is pulling poor Polly’s hair with her iron grip. (my scalp hurt in sympathy for her).
Soooo, they jump through another pool. This time they end up back at home, but…….they also brought the crazy lady. The thing is, this crazy lady is even stronger in their world. And she thinks this is the kingdom she was summoned to rule! So now they’ve got a crazy lady with free run of London, she’s taken over a cab (she’s driving from the top of the cab!) and is shrieking at all her “subjects”, and everyone is trying to think of a way to get rid of her, send her back, etc. The craziest part of this section is when she tears a piece of an iron lamppost of and brandishes it like a weapon.
Using the rings again, the children end up back in the pool world. This time they have included the cabby, cab (complete with horse), strange uncle, crazy lady, and themselves.
They jump into a pool and end up in Narnia. Just as it is beginning.
Aslan is creating everything, and the crazy lady (now identified as the White Witch) gets upset about something and throws the iron piece she tore from the lamppost at him. I can’t remember if it hits him or not, but I do remember that it plants a lamppost after it lands on the ground.
After a while, you notice that the White Witch has disappeared, the uncle is caged up, and the animals are given the ability to speak.
Digory approaches Aslan and asks if he can save his mother from dying from this illness. Aslan tells him of this tree that grows fruit which gives life. Digory is sent to bring a piece of this fruit to Aslan (to help atone for what he’s done). So he sets off on a flying unicorn and eventually finds the walled in garden that contains the tree of life (get it?).
There he meets the witch again and discovers that she has already eaten the fruit and is stronger than ever. She tempts him to get some for his mother as well so that she might get better. Digory resists temptation and gets the fruit forAslan and leaves.
He, the flying unicorn, and Polly get back to where they started in Narnia, and Aslan admonishes each animal and person in their ways, and makes the cabby and his wife King and Queen of all of Narnia. Then Digory is appointed to plant the fruit he brought back with him. He does, and a tree immediately springs up, bearing fruit. Digory is given a piece to take home to his mother.
Then the two children go back to their home with their Uncle, and Digory cuts up the fruit for his mother, which heals her. Digory then buries the core of the fruit, and it becomes a beautiful fruit tree.
I hope I didn’t spoil it too much for y’all. I think I left a few surprises here and there that you should enjoy.
It’s an excellent read, and I think you should enjoy it immensely!
Until next time,