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Into the Wardrobe

chronicles-of-narniaIn honor of Carrie‘s Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge, I am designating this week as Narnia Week here at Hope Is the Word.  I have the ideas for several Narnia-related posts running around in my brain, and I hope to get them all out here this week.  We’ll see how it goes. 

My first introduction to Narnia happened when I was about ten years old.  The summer after my third grade year, my father was transferred to St. Louis, Missouri, with his job.  It was supposed to be a temporary transfer, so my family just sort of hung out in the St. Louis area for the summer–living in a hotel, swimming in the hotel pool, you know–the good life.  😉  However, this temporary transfer turned into a two-year tenure in St. Louis, so my family eventually moved into an apartment complex in a St. Louis suburb.  While we lived there, we had a little neighbor girl named Mandy, and she became friends with my sister and me.  Mandy’s mother read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe aloud to us while we were at their apartment playing.  I really do not remember my first reaction to the stories, but it must’ve been a positive one because it was while we were living in Missouri that I asked for and received (for Christmas, I think) the boxed set of Narnia books that I still have (and read) today.  This set looks a lot like mine (worn places and all), except mine is white:narnia side view

Since this was the first set of Narnia books I called my own, I will always associate these cover illustrations with the stories:

the lion the witch adn the wardrobe

dawn treader


last battle

These cover illustrations are by Roger Hane, a paperback book illustrator.  I much prefer Pauline Baynes’ illustrations (and others’, as well–particularly Chris Van Allsburg’s), but these rather eighties-looking covers will always be a part of my imagination.

Mandy’s mother also introduced us to Narnia through music.  I remember an album with an illustration of Aslan emblazoned on the front.  I’ve tried and tried to locate the titles or lyrics to some of the songs I remember from this album, but I have not been successful.  I remember a song (sung by Lucy) that goes something like this:  “Edmund, oh Edmund, please tell them the truth! / That you’re not lying, oh Edmund, please tell them the truth!” Another one, sung by Edmund, goes like this:  “Turkish Delight!  What surprise!/ Just by one bite–hypnotized!”  Does anyone recognize this?  I would love to be able to put these songs to rest in my mind by hearing (or ast least reading) the rest of the lyrics.  🙂 I assume these songs are from a musical or dramatic production of some kind since the songs are from the characters’ points of view. 

It’s really neat to me now to think that a woman whom I knew only briefly introduced me through reading aloud to a world that I later embraced fully in my imagination.  (It just goes to show that one never knows the influence of reading aloud to a child.)  I’m pretty sure I went on to read a few of the books as a child, but I didn’t make it all the way through the series until I was in college and chose Lewis as the subject of a lengthy research project.  Since then, I’ve come to appreciate Lewis and Narnia in ways I couldn’t have as a child.  Isn’t that the beauty of Narnia? 

I have some fun things planned for Narnia Week, not the least of which is a fantastic giveaway!  Of course, it wouldn’t be any fun to just come right out with what the giveaway is, so I’m going to post a teaser each day until Friday.  Be sure to come back each day this week and leave a comment on my Narnia posts (marked with Carrie’s beautiful button like at the top of this post).  Just tell me something about Narnia–your favorite character, how you were introduced to Narnia, which book you hope to read next, whatever.  All of the comments from all of the Narnia posts will be eligible to win the prize, so there will be lots of chances to enter.  (Just be sure to always leave your email address or blog where I can contact you.) 

Are you ready for your first sneak peek?  🙂

Here goes:

Narnia sneak peek 1


I promise, this giveaway is too good to miss, so come back tomorrow (and every day this week) and let’s go into the wardrobe together!


19 Responses

  1. I have read all the Narnia books and read of Lewis’s other books as well. I always loved Lucy because some of her reminded me of myself when I was young.

    I was thrilled when the made movies of Narnia because I knew it would open a door to new readers that may not have had the chance to step into the world of Narnia before.

  2. One of my favorite Narnia resources is the Focus on the Family Radio Dramas. We got the entire cd set (all the Narnia books) for less than $15.00. These have a full cast of characters, music, and sound effects. My children listen to them during quiet time and love the stories.

  3. We have the same set with the white covers (was hubby’s)…of course, ours is falling apart due to our 5-year-old daughter toting the books around and “reading” them to herself. I found a great deal on the complete audio book set ($25!) and gave it to hubby for Father’s Day. Every time we get into the car, our daughter wants to listen to Narnia.

  4. I have that same box set (in white) that you mentioned. The pages are falling out of several of the books and I know I’m going to have to replace before my girls read them. When T & I got married, he had not read the Narnia books as of yet, so we read them to each other over the honeymoon – actually I read them while he drove. We drove from TN out to Yellowstone Nat’l Park and over the course of the trip made it through the first three books. It was a LOT of driving. 🙂

  5. Hi Amy!
    I’m a fellow crewmate! I love Narnia and was introduced to the stories when I was a young adult in the 80’s! It was funny my brother loved them and I had no interest in them until I listened to the album you are referring to! I had that album on cassette and played it until I wore it out. I finally threw it out. I could not remember the name of it and searched the internet in hopes of finding it. I found it a couple of years ago and bought a copy for myself and my brother. It is called The Roar of Love: A Musical Journey into The Wonder of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia. You can find it at Amazon. Here is the link:http://tiny.cc/dc2qJ It is an excellent cd!

    I have the Narnia set that I bought way back when, it is while like you described. I am going to be reading it to my boys soon. I am planning on buying my neice the boxed set for Christmas this year, she loves to read and I know she will love these stories!


  6. I have the same set in white! In fact, I had a hardback set that I traded in when I found a nice paperback white set. It’s what is familiar and I love it! =D

    That album/song you are talking about sounds fantastic!!! I wonder what it is!!? If you discover it, do let me know!

  7. I love Narnia. Actually first read them when I was pregnant with my first. 24 years ago.
    and then read one of those “how to read Narnia’ type books.
    Introduced my olders to them, and now my youngers.
    Awesome stuff.

  8. We are HUGE Narnia fans around here! My 15 y/o is a gifted learner,and he read the whole series when he was 7 years old, so we’ve been Narnia fans ever since. We would love to win any of your giveaways!

    Lisa @ http://www.homesteadblogger.com/wyldhousehomestead

  9. Wow! Thanks for all the stories! And thanks to Carrie and Michele for solving the mystery for me! I’d love to get this and share it with my girls. 🙂

  10. Fellow Crew Member here. 🙂
    I LOVE Narnia! My sister loved them when we were younger and I had *absolutely* no interest in them. It wasn’t until a friend of my family bought the first several copies for my daughter’s birthday that I fell in love with them, as did my daughter (who the heck can read Narnia and NOT fall in love?).
    My kiddo would absolutely love anything Narnia-related, so I’ll be stopping back by on Friday! 🙂

  11. Wonderful post!

    My first recollection of Narnia is my sister reading the series. It was more her thing. I never opened one Narnia book until my older girls were about 2nd and 4th grade when they read The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe for school.

    I am a sorry case as I have joined this challenge and have not read a book yet. Ugh…my plan is too read this week.
    My 9 year old daughter is reading the series. I hope she gains the same love as you have for Narnia.

  12. We listened to the Focus on the Family Radio Theater version as well and would highly recommend them. My favorite as an adukt is The Silver Chair. I remember being brought to tears several times, which my children didn’t understand. I think it’s a series that needs to be re-read as an adult and you get so much more of the depth of it. Love the series!

  13. […] this week in honor of Carrie’s Chronicles of Narnia Challenge which ends on Friday. (Go here to read my first Narnia Week post.)   Be sure to visit Hope Is the Word frequently because […]

  14. back again. for day 2.
    My one son has read the whole set at least 2 or 3 times.
    I am stuck in the middle of the series for my 11yos and 5yo however.
    started in the middle for Prince Caspian, (my rule being i would prefer them to read the book before they saw the movie, for any movie).
    and so we had to start there and work our way up to it and got stuck at The Horse and His Boy.

    this is fun. I am glad you want daily comments …i keep thinking of more.

  15. […] say that this is a treasure.  (You could go back and look at my previous sneak peeks of the book here and here and here, but PW’s pictures are much better!)  The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-up […]

  16. […] it turns out that Stephanie @ {Olive Tree} had the winning comment with comment #4, way back on the first entry of Narnia Week.  This is what Stephanie had to say: I have that same box set (in white) that you […]

  17. Very neat! I read these back in elementary school and have been working back through them recently. I just finished The Horse and His Boy. My favorite so far is probably the Silver Chair. My Dad used to read the first book to us, because it is an easy quick read. It just begs to be read out loud.

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