"Children's" Literature

When I was a kid (probably 7 or 8 years old, but I really don't remember for sure), my dad used to read The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to me on Sunday afternoons. (He also made me iced tea and taught me to play chess; I don't remember anything about chess except the names of the pieces and which way the knights and the pawns are allowed to move, and I don't like tea.) Of course, at that age, I didn't really understand them. As I got older and occasionally tried to read The Chronicles myself, I didn't like them. I don't like the science fiction/fantasy genres, and the Chronicles scared me a bit.

I watched the Narnia movie a few weeks ago, however, and I was inspired to re-read the books. I'm just starting Book 4 (The Silver Chair), and I'm surprised at how much they've improved over the last decade.

It's always interesting to read "children's" books (at least, I've always considered the Chronicles to be children's literature, since I was first introduced to them when I was so young) as an adult, when you're able to see the author's worldview so clearly. For example, from The Silver Chair:

"I was wondering--I mean--could there be some mistake? Because nobody called me and Scrubb, you know. It was we who asked to come here. Scrubb said we were to call to--to Somebody--it was a name I wouldn't know--and perhaps the Somebody would let us in. And we did, and then we found the door open."

"You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you," said the Lion.


It's just too bad that C.S. Lewis had to end the Chronicles by letting a Tash worshipper into paradise...

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