Proudly presenting Q&A with the kiddo, courtesy of my 10-year-old son, in which I ask my kiddo to describe a book he’s enjoyed recently and he gives his opinions, more or less unfiltered by mom.
Kiddo and I are in the midst of our Narnia read. Neither of us had read these books previously. In fact, I consider my childhood somewhat deficient due to its lack of both Narnia and Anne of Green Gables books. It’s never too late, I say! I read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for the first time about ten years ago, but it’s a whole different ballgame reading it as part of a greater body of work. So far, we two have read The Magician’s Nephew (discussed earlier, here) and have now finished TLTW&TW, Prince Caspian, and most recently, The Horse and His Boy.
Let’s see what the kiddo has to say. Without further ado:
Q: Of the four Narnia books we’ve read so far, which was your favorite?
A: My favorite was The Horse and His Boy. I like Shasta, the main character, and I like the ending. In the end, everything turned out good. Aslan actually saved them, and Shasta turned out to be Prince Cor. I like how Rabadash (the bad guy) was punished in the end and got turned into a donkey. I like how they (the main characters) traveled through all the places and how Aravis got scratched by the lion to punish her for causing her servant to get whipped. Bree and Hwin (the talking horses) were cool. They should have gotten married, but at least they’re still best friends. I liked Prince Corin because he always knocked people down and later became a champion boxer. I liked King Lune too. The battle scenes were cool. I wish they’d make a movie from this book.
Q: What did you think about the other books? What parts or characters did you like the most?
A: I liked King Peter, King Edmund, Queen Susan, and Queen Lucy. They brought light into the story. They were the most important in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and were also important in Prince Caspian. I liked them better in TLTW&TW because they were more active in the fighting and in controlling what happened. In Prince Caspian, Prince Caspian was the most important, and Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy were just there to support him.
Q: What did you think of Prince Caspian?
A: He’s okay. I liked the book. I especially liked all the talking animals and the fight (battle) scenes. I liked how they (the Pevensies) got called back to Narnia by Susan’s horn. Reepicheep (the warrior mouse) was cool with his uncut tail.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: It’s a good series. I definitely want to continue with the other books. I want to see the movies.
Mom’s two cents:
Well, we’ve managed to mess up the order of the books, but it’s actually all turning out fine anyway. From what I understand, you can either read them in order of publication (starting with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe) or in what is supposed to be C. S. Lewis’s preferred reading order, going by the chronology of the story itself. [Note: In trying to figure out which way is “right”, all I could find was reference to a single letter by the author in which he states that it would work to read the stories chronologically rather than by publication date. It didn’t sound like he was terribly insistent upon it though, which made me think that C. S. Lewis might not really have had a preference after all. But I digress.]
In any case, we started out going by the story chronology, then inadvertently switched a couple of books, but it doesn’t seem to matter in the slightest in terms of following the story. So far, we’ve read The Magician’s Nephew, then The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and finally The Horse and His Boy.
I’ll agree with my son on this one, and say that we both thought that The Horse and His Boy was the most fun of the lot. Perhaps it’s because it reads like a great adventure story — all about a boy who doesn’t fit in, who runs off with a stolen war horse rather than be sold as a slave, and in seeking his freedom, discovers his own bravery and encounters courage, kindness, treachery, and danger along the way. There are hidden and mistaken identities, twins separated at birth, chases across the desert, royal viziers and high princes, a siege, a great battle, and a variety of odd and interesting creatures, including talking horses and other beasts of Narnia, giants, and the great and noble Lion Aslan.
Not to say that we didn’t enjoy TLTW&TW and Prince Caspian quite a bit as well. We love High King Peter and his brother and sisters, King Edmund, Queen Lucy, and Queen Susan. It was a bit disconcerting at the start of Prince Caspian to see them back in their old lives as English schoolchildren, but quite fascinating once they return to Narnia and realize that centuries have gone by since the time of their reign, despite it only being one year later in their world. The story of Prince Caspian and his rise to power, overthrowing his evil uncle in order to restore the magic and wonder of the kingdom of Narnia, is exciting and action-packed, and introduces us to many memorable magical creatures. There’s quite a bit of humor as well, so the moments of suspense and danger are nicely balanced by laughter and light-heartedness.
All in all, we’re having a great time reading the Narnia books together. The pacing of the story makes for a good read-aloud, and the chapters are just the right length for reading one each night before bed without a) me losing my voice (like I did with Harry Potter) or b) being too short to be satisfying.
At this point, we’re in. We’re definitely planning to read the three remaining books this summer, picking back up with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as soon as the kiddo gets home from sleepaway camp.
As Bree the horse frequently exclaimed, “Narnia and the North!” Onward we go.