Dear Aunt Debbie,
The ALA convention sounds fabulous; I've put The Lion and the Mouse on our library hold list, and am jonesing to read Rebecca Stead now as well. Thank you for keeping me up to date!
By contrast, the great pleasure I've had this past week has been a classic one. On Thursday afternoon, Isabel was taking a long nap and I was tired of the particular stack of library books Eleanor kept returning to, so I picked up Jeff's childhood copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe just to see if it would take. It took. We've been reading a few chapters a day, at Eleanor's request, and finished the book tonight. I have been in heaven.
I know Eleanor is too young to understand a lot of what is going on in this book. But I was pleased to find that Lewis's sentences are smooth and clear and easy to read; except for the children's kingly and queenly language at the end, the language is never obtuse. Edmund is cringingly real and human, Lucy is plucky and forthright, and Susan and Peter are sort of parental (does any child ever actually relate to them?). As we read, Eleanor kept stopping me to insert herself into the narrative, not as a character, but as herself: "But that's when I came in, and I saved Mr. Tumnus and told him the Witch was coming, and we had dinner together." She untied Aslan, too, before the girls and the field mice got to it. Her attention certainly wandered at points, but she has also asked that we bring this book on our plane trip this weekend, so we can read it again.
here, through Alibris, though the cover image is wrong). These are the pictures I've used in this post (we finally have a working scanner, hoorah!). In terms of holding her attention and giving her something to focus on as I read, the pictures were vital.
And so we begin!