So, I'm combining carnivals today. This post is not only for Watercooler Wednesday, but also for 5 Minutes for Books' Children's Classics carnival.
The topic this month is classic chapter books. Now if you know me at all, you probably assume this is going to be a plug for Trixie Belden. Wrong! As much as I love those books, I don't see them fitting into the classic category.
And, having reread Ramona the Pest this last week, I am tempted to talk about Beverly Clearly.
But I am going to stick with my first choice - The Chronicles of Narnia.
One reason I chose these books is because they have been in my life longer. While I discovered Trixie and Beverly in Jr. High, I read Narnia for the first time in 3rd grade. That was a long time ago.
True, I had to struggle through them a little then. But I was captivated. These books are so imaginative and fun. Kids from our world traveling to another and having all kinds of adventures. What's not to love? And I think I liked the talking animal aspect of it, too. C. S. Lewis really did know how to capture the imagination of children.
And adults, frankly. I have reread the books as an adult and actually enjoyed them more. And I bought Focus on the Family's radio version and was captivated all over again.
I do think if I were reading for the first time as an adult I might not love them so much. Aslan seens to roar in and save the day a little too often, making most of the plot irrelevant.
Yet that brings us to the alegory aspect. Yes, you can read the books purely as fantasy adventures. But there is barely disguised alegory there, too. It's more obvious in some of the books then others, but I've picked up on more of it as an adult then I did as a kid. And it's stuff that has encouraged and challenged me.
And I think that's another reason Asland roaring in to save the day doesn't bother me. He represents Jesus in the stories. And God can come in at the last minute to save the day.
Now as a diehard fan of the books, I was worried about the recent movies. But I've got to say I love them. Yes, they change things from the books. In the case of Prince Caspian, it really improved on the book, which is my least favorite in the series by far. And in the case of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the changes made for a better movie than strickly following the book would have.
So no matter your age, if you have missed these children's classics, drop everything and read them today.
(And look for me to blog about the others if I get a chance in another carnaval.)