I reserved this book online from our local library. When it was time to pick it up, I took my 2-year-old son along and he chose a couple of picture books while we were there.
When I took the books to the counter to get scanned, the librarian snatched them off me, then proceeded to huff and puff and click the computer mouse and sigh. Finally she spoke:
‘When you reserved this book,’ – held up The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – ‘you did it under your library card. You really should have used your son’s card because it’s such a muck around for me to change it over to his name to check it out.’
She thrust the books towards me and turned to do something else.
Did I have the heart to tell her this book was actually for me?
Of course not. I apologised and got out of there quick smart.
So yes, my 17th book in the 100 book challenge is actually a children’s book. And it was so much fun to read.
When I write short fiction, I write about serious themes and emotions. Everyday themes that could happen to anyone. I’m creative with characters and scenes and plots, but generally I stick to realistic events (I dabbled in science fiction once, when I wrote about a one-way trip to Mars, however that was a one-off).
Ahh, but fantasy, in particular children’s fantasy, that must be a lot of fun to write.
There are no boundaries. The children go into a wardrobe and find a magical land. Where a white witch can make it winter forever. Where some animals talk (yet strangely others don’t, then even more strangely others are roasted up for dinner). Where Turkish Delight is a delicacy and girls instinctively ‘fix dinner’ while the boys talk around the fire. This book was filled with so many foreign concepts.
But I went along for the ride. Because I knew it was fantasy. I knew it was for children. My expectations weren’t very high (unlike those I had for Cold Comfort Farm) and my expectations were met. The story was so fantastic that I didn’t question its validity like I did with Charlotte’s Web.
I actually really, really enjoyed it.
My 2-year-old is obviously way too young to read this book, but one day I’ll read it to him. However I’ll remember to reserve the book next time under his name, to save the librarian all that extra stress.
In July 2014 I set myself the challenge to finish 100 must-read books before I die. For my ongoing tally click here.
13 responses to “17. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis (100 book challenge)”
So pleased you enjoyed this book, Jessie (No. 17 on your list!) and I enjoyed your post. It’s such a shame that some people go through their working day without taking pleasure from either their work or interactions with other people. I understand that there are those who have to deal with belligerent others, but a librarian? Maybe she was having a bad day?
Thanks Di. I think she was one of those people who took their job just a little too seriously 🙂
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Loved this post Jessie – Huffy puffy librarian and all. Interesting that you found your expectations of the book changed your enjoyment. That’s something to keep in mind and might be worth a group discussion
Yes, that was the greatest contrast I found with the last two books (this and Cold Comfort Farm)… my expectations changed everything. It will be an interesting discussion!
Some of the best reads are children’s books… and sometimes you just need to read one.
Say, is ‘Shadow of the Wind’ on your 100 list?
Yes! It is on the list. I’ve never heard of it but with your recommendation I might make it the next on I tackle. I’m reading ‘A town like Alice’ at the moment but looking for the next one after that. Here’s the list that I’m going through (in no particular order): https://jessieansons.com/2014/08/24/100-book-challenge-my-running-tally/
You should read the rest of the Chronicles. They’re all wonderful.
I don’t think I ever did read them all as a kid – so that sounds like a good suggestion 🙂 Maybe I’ll work through them with my son when he’s a bit older.
Glad you enjoyed the book. I can’t say I’ve read it but I have watched the movie many times with my children. I learn a lot from the possibilities of children’s stories and the power of imagination. Thanks for sharing.
Really? That’s odd behaviour from a librarian. Maybe she should look for a different job. I devoured the Narnia series when I was younger. Glad you liked this book. I’m enjoying your reviews.
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