When Mr. Tumnus the cat named by the SPCA arrived in Evie’s house recently, I concluded it was time for me to read this book. I hadn’t read it as a child and my children read it after they could do so on their own. The fictional Mr. Tumnus is a good-hearted little faun who saves Lucy from the witch and is turned to stone for his trouble. Though the young cat has not yet been called upon to save anyone, he has shown himself to be a sweetie.
Four children are moved into a large old house outside London so they will be safe during the World War II bombing. The youngest, Lucy, discovers that the wardrobe with lots of fur coats is the gateway to a magical land ruled by the wicked White Witch. When she returns from Narnia, the others do not believe her and Edmund is especially pitiless in ridiculing her. One day they both enter Narnia; Edmund encounters the witch who wins him over with Turkish Delights and he promises to bring his siblings to her.
Well, things escalate pretty quickly; there are the children’s guides in Narnia, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, many stone statues created by the Witch, a self-sacrificing lion, and a full-blown war. You might guess that the goodness of Aslan the lion does triumph over the evil witch and the adventure story does turn out well. It is the first in the seven book series, The Chronicles of Narnia. It was a pleasure to read such a deftly written children’s story.
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, first published in 1950, 183 pages (I listened to the audiobook). Available at the UVa and public libraries and from Amazon.