Review: The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz By L. Frank Baum


FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

THE FITTINGLY WONDERFUL MODERN FAIRY TALE WITH BRAINS, HEART AND COURAGE THAT BECAME A TIMELESS CLASSIC

 

Book CoverThe Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
(The Oz Series, Book 1)

L. Frank Baum

Genre: Children’s Classic, Juvenile Fantasy
Publisher: Hesperus Press
Format: Paperback, 448 Pages
Date: 1st April 2013 (First Published 1900)

ISBN-10: 1843913909
ISBN-13: 978-1843913900

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

In the introduction to his defining work, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, American children’s author, L. Frank Baum mentioned that his purpose in writing the story was to bring about a new kind of fairy tale for children to enjoy. He was of the view that the traditional fairy tales of old should essentially be confined to the dustbin of history; that it was no longer required for children’s stories to be cautionary tales with moral lessons to impart, as morality was now part of a modern education. His goal was to make his book a modernised fairy tale that retained the excitement and entertainment, but did away with all the moralising. Whether his opinion of traditional fairy tales has merit or not is for others to decide.

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Review: Prince Caspian By C.S. Lewis


THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO NARNIA

IN THE HOUR OF GREATEST NEED THE PEVENSIE SIBLINGS ARE CALLED BACK TO NARNIA TO SAVE THE DAY ONCE AGAIN

 
Book CoverPrince Caspian
(The Chronicles Of Narnia, Book 4)

C.S. Lewis

Genre: Children’s, Juvenile Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback, 224 Pages
Date: 1st February 2009 (First Published 1951)

ISBN-10: 0007323115
ISBN-13: 978-0007323111

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Let’s get the trivia out of the way first. Prince Caspian was the second book of The Chronicles Of Narnia to be published, in 1951, though the events narrated therein make it chronologically the fourth story of the series. So being, effectively, the direct sequel to The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, the book marks the inevitable return to Narnia of the four Pevensie siblings; Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. After all, once a king (or queen) in Narnia, always a king (or queen) in Narnia.

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Review: The Phantom Tollbooth By Norton Juster


MAKING LITERACY AND NUMERACY COOL FOR KIDS

THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF A BORED SCHOOLBOY WITH TOO MUCH TIME ON HIS HANDS

 

Book CoverThe Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster
 

Genre: Children’s, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback, 272 Pages
Date: 3rd March 2008 (First Published 1961)

ISBN-10: 0007263481
ISBN-13: 978-0007263486

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

The Phantom Tollbooth is one of those children’s books that should be one of the defining reads of every bookworm’s childhood; much like The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe is. I certainly have fond memories of my first reading of it as a young schoolboy. But whereas C.S. Lewis’ classic is a very easy book to categorise and describe (being an age old tale of good triumphing over evil), Norton Juster’s story almost defies conventional categorisation. It is a story that is as unique as it is bizarre, making it all the more memorable. And as an added bonus, it’s hard to think of another book as likely The Phantom Tollbooth to spark an interest in literacy and numeracy in a young child.

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Quote: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, “Once A King In Narnia…”


THE QUOTABLE QUOTE OF THE DAY

 

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“Once a King in Narnia, always a King in Narnia. But don’t go trying to use the same route twice. Indeed, don’t try to get there at all. It’ll happen when you’re not looking for it. And don’t talk too much about it even among yourselves. And don’t mention it to anyone else unless you find that they’ve had adventures of the same sort themselves. What’s that? How will you know? Oh, you’ll know all right. Odd things, they say-even their looks-will let the secret out. Keep your eyes open…”

 
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Review: The Horse And His Boy By C.S. Lewis


THE STAND OUT TALE OF THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA

A GRIPPING JOURNEY OF SELF DISCOVERY FOR TWO YOUNG HEROES IN A RACE AGAINST TIME TO THWART A NEFARIOUS CONSPIRACY

 

Book CoverThe Horse And His Boy
(The Chronicles Of Narnia, Book 3)

C.S. Lewis

Genre: Children’s, Juvenile Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback, 252 Pages
Date: 20th March 2012 (First Published 1954)

ISBN-10: 0007323085
ISBN-13: 978-0007323081

 
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If anyone were to ask me which of the seven books of The Chronicles Of Narnia is the best, without hesitation I would reply, The Horse And His Boy; although I would have no argument with anyone who considered Prince Caspian to be the better book. While they are both excellent reads, what elevates the former over the latter, as well as the other Narnia books, is its unique status within the series. It is the only instalment whose premise doesn’t involve young protagonists from our world being transported to the world of Narnia at a time of great need. In fact, though the story takes place during the reign of the Pevensie siblings, and features cameo appearances by them, Narnia only plays a small part in the book’s setting and plot. The story unfolds mostly in the land of Calormen, far to the south, before moving to Archenland and Narnia, much later on.

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Trivia: The Genesis Of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe


IT ALL BEGAN WITH A PICTURE…

This is how The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe came to be, in C.S. Lewis’ own words.

 

You are no doubt aware that C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe is one of the most beloved and successful children’s fantasy books in history. But have you ever wondered what inspired Lewis to write the story? Well it’s a question that has been answered in the book, Of Other Worlds: Essays And Stories, a posthumously published anthology of essays and unpublished stories by Lewis.

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Quote: The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, “You Have Plenty Of Courage…”


THE QUOTABLE QUOTE OF THE DAY

 

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“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”

 
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Review: The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe By C.S. Lewis


THE MOST INFLUENTIAL CHILDREN’S STORY EVER TOLD

C.S. LEWIS’ TIMELESS TALE OF GOOD OVERCOMING EVIL IN A MAGICAL LAND, IS A MUST READ BOOK FOR READERS, YOUNG AND OLD

 

Book CoverThe Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
(The Chronicles Of Narnia, Book 2)

C.S. Lewis

Genre: Children’s, Juvenile Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback, 208 Pages
Date: 12th March 2012 (First Published 1950)

ISBN-10: 0007323123
ISBN-13: 978-0007323128

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

To say that C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe has a very special place in my heart would be a major understatement. It was the first novel that I ever read, when I was just seven years old, igniting a lifelong interest in fantasy literature. It is perhaps the most influential children’s fantasy book ever written, and its enduring popularity has ensured that it has never been out of print since it was first published, six decades ago.

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