Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review - The Land of Narnia

By: Brian Sibley Explores the World of C.S. Lewis
Illustrated By: Paulne Baynes
Published by Harper & Row
Released on September 15, 1990
Age Range: 9-12 years
5 Stars- This is one book I will read again & again.

If you love the world of Narnia as much as I do be sure to check out your local used bookstore or library for this little gem. It's available at most of the major online retailers (here and here).

This picture-book-sized volume contains gorgeously illustrated summaries of all seven books. But it also gives a great glimpse into C.S. Lewis and his inspiration for writing Narnia. Brian breaks the book up into logical chapters: the founding of Narnia, the stories of Narnia, the land of Narnia and the folk of Narnia. He also goes a little deeper by explaning the meaning of Narnia as well as its ongoing appeal.

I bought this volume to read the summaries and enjoy the pictures with my Kindergartener. But I have to admit to reading it myself rather late into the night. And being swept away by Lewis' inspiration. Here's the letter he wrote to his goddaughter:

My Dear Lucy,
I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and to old to understand, a word you say, but I shall stil be your affectionate Godfather.

I am that Lucy every time I pick up these books. I was the little girl who loved them and now I'm the mom who dusts them off the top shelf and reads them with her children. If you're at all like me be sure to check out this wonderful exploration of C.S. Lewis' Narnia.


  1. I love this review! If I ever find this particular illustrated series, I'm definitely buying it.

  2. Sounds like a great book. It's been a couple years since I read the Narnia series, sounds like a good book to refresh my memory.

  3. Great review! I'm so going to see if I can find this set. It sounds like a must have.

  4. Thanks Katie (MK), if I find another copy -- it's yours!

    Kathy -- it is a great book. Really fun to revisit the concept of Narnia as well as the summary stories. The illustrations are amazing.

    MMs -- It's only one book and not a set. And it's the size of a standard picture book. The links above are to amazon and Barnes and Noble. Both sites have them for an excellent price.


I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~