I finished reading Prince Caspian aloud to my girls one day last week. I wanted to participate in Carrie’s Narnia Challenge, but I have so much on my plate right now, I knew I wouldn’t have time to read one of the Narnia books myself. I decided to pick up with my girls where we left off last year and read Prince Caspian. My real goal was to get to The Voyage of the Dawn Treader for my own benefit since the movie is coming out later this year. I’m sort of obsessive about some things (ha!), and I couldn’t countenance skipping a Narnia book, even though my girls are only 4 and 6, so read Prince Caspian we did.
Prince Caspian seemed a little less accessible to my young audience to me than Wardrobe did. I’m not sure why–perhaps it is the martial atmosphere that pervades this book. That is not to say that they didn’t enjoy it. On the contrary, they never wanted to quit reading it. I think they followed the plot fairly well. Lulu seemed to understand the conflict between Caspian and Miraz, while Louise had a hard time keeping the characters straight. (I’m beginning to really believe that while Lulu is an auditory learner, Louise is more visual. This difficulty of hers in remembering characters sort of confirms this for me. It will be interesting to see how I will have to differentiate my approach to teaching them.) Prince Caspian is not my favorite of the Narnian chronicles, so maybe I’m projecting my own feelings about it onto them when I say that it wasn’t as accessible to them.
Despite the fact that it’s not one of my favorites, Prince Caspian still gets me right in the heart and makes me a little weepy. Of course, the part that gets me is the part where Lucy sees Aslan and no one else does. This:
“Aslan,” said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
The Lion looked straight into her eyes.
“Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “You don’t mean it was? How could I–I couldn’t have left the others and come up to you alone, how could I? Don’t look at me like that. . . oh well, I suppose I could. Yes, and it wouldn’t have been alone, I know, not if I was with you. But what would have been the good?”
Aslan said nothing.
“You mean,” siad Lucy rather faintly, “that it would have turned out all right–somehow? But how? Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?”
“To know what would have happened, child?” said Aslan. “No. Nobody is ever told that.”
I love it, but I think we’re going to take a break before reading Dawn Treader. Part of me wants to read it closer to the time the movie will come out, and really, I think I’m ready to tackle an easier read-aloud right now. I have the next three of the Betsy-Tacy books ordered, and I think we might enjoy a bit of Maud Hart Lovelace and her delightful world right now. (Plus, the Maud Hart Lovelace challenge is returning to Library Hospital in October, so I’m just getting a head start!)
A big huge THANK YOU to my bloggy buddy, Carrie, for hosting this awesome Narnia Challenge each year! As much as I love Narnia, I’m not sure that I would make the time every year to read even a little of it. Thanks to her challenge, I’m reminded to do that. Be sure to visit her blog for more Narnia posts!