Finding Narnia
Finding Narnia is Caroline McAlister and Jessica Lanan's captivating picture book biography of two brothers, Jack and Warnie Lewis, whose rich imaginations led to the creation of the magical world of Narnia.Before C.S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, he was a young boy named Jack who spent his days dreaming up stories of other worlds filled with knights, castles, and talking animals. His brother, Warnie, spent his days imagining worlds filled with trains, boats, and technology. One rainy day, they found a wardrobe in a little room next to the attic, and they wondered, What if the wardrobe had no end?Years later, Jack began to think about what could be beyond that wardrobe, and about a girl named Lucy and her siblings. This picture book biography introduces the beloved creator of The Chronicles of Narnia to a new generation of children who see hidden magic in the world around them.

Finding Narnia Details

TitleFinding Narnia
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 19th, 2019
PublisherRoaring Brook Press
ISBN-139781626726581
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Biography, Childrens, Picture Books, History

Finding Narnia Review

  • Panda Incognito
    January 1, 1970
    I greatly enjoyed this picture book biography about C.S. Lewis's early life, imagination, and bond with his brother. The illustrations are colorful and varied, and even though they don't show as much detail in human faces as I would prefer, they are very attentive to historical details while recreating the places and scenes of Lewis's life. The text is well-written and accurate, covering a range of different topics and experiences from Lewis's life, but my one complaint about the book is that it I greatly enjoyed this picture book biography about C.S. Lewis's early life, imagination, and bond with his brother. The illustrations are colorful and varied, and even though they don't show as much detail in human faces as I would prefer, they are very attentive to historical details while recreating the places and scenes of Lewis's life. The text is well-written and accurate, covering a range of different topics and experiences from Lewis's life, but my one complaint about the book is that it does not mention his conversion. The book does show him in church, so it doesn't gloss over his faith entirely, and the detailed author's note includes a paragraph about his conversion, but I would have given the book another star if it had connected Lewis's faith to his imaginative work with the Narnia series.Still, these four stars well-deserved! This book does a great job explaining Lewis's life in thirty-five pages, the illustrations have beautiful shades and colors, and I enjoyed the sibling focus, which made me think about my many hours of imagination with my older sister in childhood. I enjoyed this very much, and even though I think that it could have been better, I'm excited to share it with friends and family.I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • John Stanifer
    January 1, 1970
    While most children's picture books can be read quickly in one sitting, the good ones are sophisticated enough to reward an adult's close reading."Finding Narnia" is only 40-odd pages, but it contains plenty in those pages to make the longtime Lewis fan and/or scholar smile knowingly. The author and the illustrator obviously did their research (they each take a couple of pages at the end to summarize that research).A few examples:- The wardrobe in the story looks just like the one that's now While most children's picture books can be read quickly in one sitting, the good ones are sophisticated enough to reward an adult's close reading."Finding Narnia" is only 40-odd pages, but it contains plenty in those pages to make the longtime Lewis fan and/or scholar smile knowingly. The author and the illustrator obviously did their research (they each take a couple of pages at the end to summarize that research).A few examples:- The wardrobe in the story looks just like the one that's now held at the Wade Center.- The image of Balder on p.3 is based on Arthur Rackham's Balder from Siegfried and the Twilight of the Gods, which is known to have kindled Lewis's interest in Norse mythology.- Images of the Kilns, Little Lea, and Holy Trinity Church are pretty much spot-on (as one might hope).My favorite line in the text, referring to Lewis's post-WWI years at Oxford, is probably: "He was an important man who gave serious lectures and wrote long books." That one made me laugh.This was obviously written out of a deep love for Lewis and Warnie and will hopefully serve its purpose in provoking children's interest in the man behind Narnia (and his brother, who most certainly played a key role in making the stories what they are).As a lifelong fan of Lewis who appreciated some of the subtle biographical details dropped into this (there's even the lid of a biscuit tin on p.5!), I loved this and will no doubt be returning to its delightful text and illustrations for many years to come.
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  • Maria Marshall
    January 1, 1970
    Caroline McAlister created a wonderful book on C.S. Lewis, his brother Warnie, and the background to the creation of the Chronicles of Narnia. With the amazingly talented Jessica Lanan illustrating it, this picture book was everything I'd hoped for and so much more. This is a wonderful book examining the juxtaposition and interaction of reality (technology) and imagination. A fusion of seeming opposites; demonstrating how even though Warnie was practical (interested in ships, trains, and Caroline McAlister created a wonderful book on C.S. Lewis, his brother Warnie, and the background to the creation of the Chronicles of Narnia. With the amazingly talented Jessica Lanan illustrating it, this picture book was everything I'd hoped for and so much more. This is a wonderful book examining the juxtaposition and interaction of reality (technology) and imagination. A fusion of seeming opposites; demonstrating how even though Warnie was practical (interested in ships, trains, and schedules) and Jack was imaginative (fascinated with Norse mythology, knights, and castles), the brothers combined their interests to create imaginary worlds of adventures. And how their collaboration lasted a lifetime. This is a great book for those who loved Narnia, are just getting into Narnia, or simply love nonfiction biographies. One I hope finds its way into every library.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    The illustrations are warm and inviting, and the text gives a gentle introduction to Lewis' life, with particular focus on his relationship with his brother and the creation of Narnia. The afterward gives more context and detail, including information on Lewis' religious life, his relationship with fellow fantasist Tolkien, and his eventual marriage.
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  • Engel Dreizehn
    January 1, 1970
    It's a warm narrative on the early childhood sibling bond between Lewis and his brother and how the first creative steps towards (atleast the talking animal citizens) the foundation of the world of Narnia with beautiful illustrations too!
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars
  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    For some reason I thought this was an adult bio! But for a picture book bio the end notes gave a bunch of info.
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