Steady Eddie and I have been to three different homeschooling conferences in three different states this summer. Crazy, huh? Hands down the best part of any curriculum fair is the used book sale! 🙂 (You knew there was more to this than just a plug for homeschooling conferences, didn’t you?) Even if I weren’t a homeschooling parent, I would love to attend the conferences just for a chance to buy great used books for a fraction of their original prices! I picked up Roar!: A Christian Family Guide to the Chronicles of Narnia by Heather Kopp and David Kopp at one of the conference’s used book sales for a mere $3.00, and it was $3.00 well spent.
Roar! is not really a book meant to be read from cover to cover. Instead, it is best enjoyed in small snippets. It is divided into five sections:
- Section one introduces the concept of the book itself and gives a short biography of C.S. Lewis. My favorite parts of this section, though, are the “You Know You’re a Narniac Quiz” and “The Narniac’s Creed.” (I can’t resist sharing just one. . . “You know you’re a Narniac when. . . someone says Lucy, you think Edmund or Susan, not Charlie or Snoopy.” 🙂 )
- Section two is the longest section at roughly 250 pages. The simplest way to explain this section is to say that it gives an overview of each one of the chronicles. However, this doesn’t do Roar! justice at all; it is far, far more than a simple Cliff’s Notes version of the Chronicles of Narnia. Each two page chapter summary actually contains several different section. For example, there is a section entitled “Grown-up Thoughts” which includes broader spiritual implications found within the books, related Bible verses, and all sorts of literary observations. Also included is a glossary of terms for each chapter which defines words that aren’t much used in America today. There are quizzes, historical notes, quotations, and fantastic illustrations. This is a Narnia treasure trove!
- Part three contains a Narniac Final Exam and a Narniac Final Exam for Little Ones. This is serious fun, folks, and far more thought provoking than most tests I’ve ever given. My favorite part in this section is the riddles. Here’s one to test your knowledge of Narnia:
Who. . .
_could be a good friend to Winnie-the-Pooh?
_would make a terrible weather man (Rainy and cloudy again?!)?
_could help you see the worst in a bad situation?
_might turn into a prince if you kissed him?
(Hint: He’s my favorite character!)
- Part four is entitled “Leading the Way into Narnia,” and it contains all the stuff we English nerds like. 😉 Actually, it’s subititled “Help and Inspiration for Parents,” and it contains ten articles about various Narnia-related topics. Some of the articles include “What C.S. Lewis Really Believed” and “The Meaning of Magic in Narnia” by Marcus Brotherton; “The Literary Bloke” by J.I. Packer; and “Mercy! How the Wine Doth Flow in Narnia!” by Laurie Winslow Sargent and David Kopp. Any imaginative story worth its salt is bound to stir up some sort of controversy, and this section is designed to help parents navigate the often murky waters of good literature.
- Part five is where all the miscellaenous leftovers are found: chronologies, a more complete glossary, character and place identification, etc.
This is one fun book for the Narnia lover. I haven’t written much about the illustrations yet because they are secondary to the content of this great resource, but they really add to the very energetic feel of this book. (Be sure to notice the cover above to see what I mean.) Martin French really conveyed a love of Narnia through his colorful artwork. You can see more of his art here on his website.
There are lots of Narnia resources out there now, especially with the Disney’s updating of the movies. I haven’t seen them all, but I do think that Roar! manages to be a resource that can be used by the whole family, adults and children alike. This one gets a “highly recommended” from me!
In case you missed it yesterday, I’m blogging my way through Narnia 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 I’m hosting on an awesome giveaway as a part of my Narnia Week, and you can “earn” one entry in the giveaway simply by leaving a comment on this post and every post which features Carrie’s Narnia Challenge button. Tell me something about Narnia–do you have a favorite Narnia resource you’d like to share with me? Who’s your favorite character? (By the way, mine’s Puddleglum, in case you couldn’t figure out the riddle.) Just say something in the comments. 🙂
Oh, and I plan to have the next sneak peek of the giveaway I”m doing up around noon CST today! (You can see the first sneak peek at the bottom of this post.)