A lyrical nonfiction picture book about the inspired life of C. S. Lewis, the beloved author of the Chronicles of Narnia—from Free as a Bird author-illustrator Lina Maslo. Perfect for fans of The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown and Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White.
As a child, Clive Staples Lewis imagined many things . . .
and knights in armor
and a faraway land called Boxen.
He even thought of a new name for himself—at four years old, he decided he was more of a Jack.
As he grew up, though, Jack found that the real world was not as just as the one in his imagination. No magic could heal the sick or stop a war, and a bully’s words could pierce as sharply as a sword. So Jack withdrew into books and eventually became a well-known author for adults.
But he never forgot the epic tales of his boyhood, and one day a young girl’s question about an old family wardrobe inspired him to write a children’s story about a world hidden beyond its fur coats . . . a world of fauns and queens and a lion named Aslan. A world of battles between good and evil, where people learned courage and love and forgiveness.
A magical realm called Narnia.
And the books he would write about this kingdom would change his life and that of children the world over.
As a major fan of C.S. Lewis, I loved reading this child-accessible and child-friendly look at his life that encourages reading and imagination, although I felt that neither the telling nor the illustration had a magical quality to it.
I’m all for learning about authors’ experiences and the stories behind the stories we read, and this book does a nice job of exploring the life and motivations of C.S. Lewis. It’s a little wordy for a picture book, and would definitely be most interesting to kids who are old enough to already be acquainted with Narnia. That makse it a pass for me right now (my daughters are 4 and 2), but a good book to keep in mind for some day in the future!
<strong>Lina Maslo</strong> is the author and illustrator of <em>Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala </em>and <em>Through the Wardrobe: How C. S. Lewis Created Narnia</em>. She has a bachelor’s degree in art from New College of Florida and resides in South Carolina with her husband and children. She can be found online at www.linamaslo.com.