Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington
by Frances E. Ruffin; illustrated by Stephen Marchesi
(Grosset & Dunlap, 2001, 48 pages)
My daughter Adelaide (6 years old) is very impressed with Martin Luther King, Jr. She was pretty excited to find a book about him that was written at her level. Here is a lightly edited version of her brief review:
The book was about Dr. King trying to make slavery stop! And Dr. King was put in jail many times. I learned that. I read it because I love history and hearing about people’s lives.
It might not stand up to fact checking, but I thought it was pretty perceptive.
The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis
(Harper Trophy, 2000, 240 pages)
This is how Adelaide summarizes The Horse and His Boy, the next in the Narnian chronicles. There are some spoilers here, so be warned:
“It’s about Narnia and Shasta. Shasta’s father, King Luna, one of his knights ran away cos he was evil and he stole Cor. One of his other knights got Prince Cor and sailed him safely away in a little boat.
“I like when Prince Cor and – what’s her name again? – Aravis got married. The characters are Aravis, Bree, Hwin, and Cor (or Shasta). I like the war between the Narnians and Rabadash and his two hundred horses. I like when Aravis and her friend meet again. Aslan scratched Aravis’ back. Aslan was with Shasta, and Aslan told Shasta his story, and Aslan said ‘I was the same lion every time.’ (There were lions throughout the book, and Aslan was every one. He was the one that attacked them and scratched Aravis’ back.)
“You should read it because it’s good. It’s an exciting book, not boring.”
The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis
(Harper Trophy, 2000, 256 pages)
This is Adelaide’s take on the next book in the Narnia series, The Silver Chair. Fair warning, some familiarity with the story is required if this is going to make any sense. Actually, parts of it may just be plain wrong, but who am I to censor her perspective? I guess everyone will just have to read the book to make sure they’re getting a full and accurate picture:
“They go to an underground place and there’s this witch that made Prince Caspian’s son a slave. The son broke the chair that he sits in when he is having his fit, because when he’s in an enchantment he turns all wild and would turn into a snake. He thought he was the witch’s knight, but he was really Prince Caspian’s son.
I liked that the witch strummed the guitar and that Puddleglum stomped on the fire and got a burnt foot. I also like when he (Prince Caspian’s son) broke the chair. I like that Jill, like, got into a hole and then everyone else did and then they were in Narnia and then Puddleglum had to stay in bed because of his burnt foot. I like the witch because of her magic guitar thing. I also like Prince Caspian’s son, Rillian. I like that Aslan blew them (Jill and Scrubb) to Narnia and back to their home. I also like Jill because she pushed Scrubb off of the cliff, and I like Scrubb because I like that he got snappy (well that everyone got snappy).”
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
(Harper Trophy, 2000, 248 pages)
In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Caspian and his crew sail toward the eastern end of the world in search of the Seven Lost Lords of Narnia. Repicheep the mouse is another recurring character in this one, and Adelaide’s fascination with him continued. She was completely enthralled by the beautiful daughter of Ramandu, an old gray haired man who says he was once a celestial star:
“I like that Repicheep dived in the water, and that he said the water is sweet. I liked Ramandu’s island because of the stone knife of the White Witch’s. I liked Ramandu’s daughter because we both have the same color hair, and she is kind of a princess. I liked that the Seven Lords fell asleep. Three of them fell asleep and one joined.”
If you read Voyage, you’ll find out a bit more about Aslan the Lion:
“It’s really good, and you should read it. I also like that Aslan told us that he has another name.”
Once again, a little cryptic, but hopefully it’s enough to pique your interest.
Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia by C.S. Lewis
(Harper Trophy, 2000, 223 pages)
As with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I’ll offer my daughter Adelaide’s observations about Prince Caspian. I say observations, but really it is a cryptic list of characters and events that she liked in the book:
“I like that they found the fauns and danced with them. I like the Bulgy Bears, because one sucks his paws. I like that they found their gifts. I like that Lucy saw Aslan two times. I like Repicheep because he was dancing under all the feet in the big battle.”
I asked her what she would say to someone thinking about reading the book:
“Oh, it’s pretty good, it’s kinda as good as the other one but it’s a little bit longer. You might like that the Bulgy Bear sucks his paws.”
*You can also check out my review of this title.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
(Harper Trophy, 2000, 189 pages)
I’ve reviewed the Chronicles of Narnia in the past. I’m currently reading them to my daughter, so I thought I’d let Adelaide (five years old) offer her comments after we finish each book. I asked her what she liked about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and she seemed particularly impressed with Aslan the lion and the gifts that the Pevensie children received from Father Christmas. This is her response in full (it’s a bit cryptic, but I suppose there are some spoilers here):
“So, the first thing is that Aslan jumped right on the White Witch. Aslan freed all of the stone people. I liked Aslan because he jumped over stone walls, and I bet he could jump over a whole house. I also like the High Queen Susan because she has a horn and it sends people to the people that blow it. And I also like the High King Peter because I like his sword and his shield and that he killed the wolf. Also, I like the High Queen Lucy, and I like her cordial that she healed Edmund with. And I like the High King Edmund – oh, he didn’t get a gift because he was bad (listening to the Witch).”
I then asked Adelaide what she would say if someone told her that they were thinking about reading the book. She said,
“You should read it, they’re pretty good.”