Well. Excuse me while I blow my nose. This is a hot-off-the-press RAT because I sat down here in my comfy office chair to compose this post just moments after closing the cover on my twenty-five year old copy of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader . (This link is not to a copy like mine–which you can see a picture of here–but instead, a read-aloud edition, which I don’t possess but would like to one day!)
I am so thankful that Carrie had the idea to start this Narnia Challenge back a few years ago! It has provided the motivation I’ve needed to get back into Narnia myself, and to bring my girls along for the trip. And what a trip it is! I first read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to them in 2009, when Lulu was 5 and Louise was 3 1/2. Last year we returned to Narnia with Prince Caspian, so of course, it was time to set sail this year with Dawn Treader. Dawn Treader has always been one of my favorite Narnian stories; I find the thrill of sailing toward the unknown Aslan’s Country so very exciting! Reading it aloud to my girls has been wonderful.
There are just so many things I could say about this book (am I gushing? I think so. . . ), so I think I’ll just make a list of some of my thoughts instead of trying to write a proper review of this well-beloved book. Here are some of my thoughts this time aboard the Dawn Treader:
- I think the first line of Dawn Treader is just about as perfect as they come:
There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.
- I made the mistake of giving Reepicheep a high-pitched voice when he made his first appearance in the story, and forever after that I was having to re-read his lines and adjust my voice accordingly. Do you do voices? I generally don’t, mainly because I don’t have a good enough memory to remember which voice belongs to whom. (Hey–I never said I was particularly good at reading aloud, just that I do it a lot. 😉 My girls don’t seem to mind.)
- I really, really need to learn my way around a ship. Poop deck? (Yes, this one elicited laughter!) Forecastle? Sheesh!
- I love the un-dragoning of Eustace, and while I think it is perhaps the most memorable part of the book (and one that I think was a tad too understated in the movie of last year, by the way), I had forgotten how many other really great episodes there are in this story. Of course, what makes them all so great are the multiple appearances of Aslan.
- Reading Dawn Treader simultaneously with Jacobs’ The Narnian (about which I hope to have a post up some time tomorrow) was enlightening. I had never thought of the ship in the story as the Church. Wow!
- I never realized how much of the ending of the book seems to have been pulled out of some of the prophetic books of the Bible. From the “live coal” that a bird places in Ramandu’s mouth (actually, it’s a fireberry) to the crystal sea at The End of the World, the book begs to be pondered.
I am a sentimental sap, yes I am, and every single time that Aslan appears, or truthfully, any time that Aslan is mentioned, I tear up. It follows, then, that I was crying out-right by the time Aslan tells Lucy that it is her and Edmund’s last trip to Narnia. I hope that rather than convincing my girls that their mother is a bit loopy, this will simply convince them of how true, right, and noble a good story can be. Watching their faces, I’m pretty sure that they’re almost as caught up in the story as I am, minus the tears. 🙂
If nothing else, I hope my writing about our time in Narnia will convince other mothers (or fathers) out there to attempt to read longer stories, good ones, to their young children. We’ll lay Narnia aside for now, but Lord willing, we’ll be back again next summer for Carrie’s Narnia Challenge.
Link up your RAT posts in the comments!
Happy Read Aloud Thursday!