Author/Illustrator: Lina Maslo
Genre: Biographical Picture Book
Target Ages: 4-8 and Older
Prime Audience: Fans of the Narnia Series; Readers of Fantasy; Aspiring Writers
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Year: 2020
When you open Lina Maslo's Through the Wardrobe: How C.S. Lewis Created Narnia, the front endpapers, letters to Lewis from readers, snatches your attention. And before you even get to Maslo's narrative, you immediately flip to the end of the book to see those endpapers, which are Lewis's responses to each of the letters. This is fantastic way to begin and end a book about a writer, and these endpapers alone will inspire readers and writers alike— but the endpapers are not alone in their power of inspiration. Maslo's chronicling of Lewis's (referring to him as "Jack," as C.S. renamed himself in his childhood) journey as a reader and a writer takes the reader on a quiet adventure, one that encourages storytellers and writers and artists to put their ideas on the page and give them life, as Lewis did Narnia. Maslo includes "More About Jack…" and "…And Other Interesting Facts" sections after her narrative, which add to the delight of reading about Lewis's life. And Maslo's charming illustrations will cause the reader to pause and observe them, visual treats to complement the words.
Through the Wardrobe is a delightful picture book, and for readers who are fans of C.S. Lewis and of Narnia, they'll enjoy the story of Lewis's life and be reminded of the times they spent in Narnia themselves as readers. And for those who are unfamiliar with his work, I'm sure they'll be heading to the bookstore and stepping into the wardrobe, soon!
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