Hey, everybody! Welcome back to Tumnus’ Bookshelf, where we review any and all books by, about and inspired by CS Lewis and the Land of Narnia. For today’s review we will be looking at the devotional book A Year With Aslan.
Author: CS Lewis
Editor: Julia L. Roller
Publisher: HarperOne (October, 5 2010)
Now at last, CS Lewis’ Beloved fantasy series is incorporated into a unique 365 day devotional book. Featuring discussion questions and classic illustrations from the books, this is a devotional adventure that helps to illuminate the deeper magic in Narnia.
Long time readers of NarniaFans may recall that in previous book reviews for the devotional books Business of Heaven, and A Year With CS Lewis that it was pointed out that one thing lacking in both of those books ( as good as they were), was a lack of readings from Narnia. As The Chronicles of Narnia are perhaps CS Lewis’ best known and most beloved of all his works, it would make since for them to be featured in such a book. Now, at long last there is such a devotional book that focuses only on the Chronicles of Narnia. The book is called A Year With Aslan, and it is a first rate devotional guide into this beloved series.
Featuring excerpts from all seven books, A Year With Aslan is divided into 365 daily readings ( again, Leap Day, February 29th, gets nothing). The beginning of each month features a different Pauline Baines drawing from one of the seven books that fit well with the month. The readings are occasionally edited in order to get to the point of the selection, but none of the overall theme is lost in the process.
At the end of each reading there is a series of discussion questions. The questions are not only written with children in mind, but adults as well. The questions deal with such topics as life, death, loss, pain, imagination, growing up, temptation, friendship, forgiveness and a whole host of other topics that are evident in Lewis’ books. The discussion questions are written in a simple, straight forward manner that will not intimidate and frighten children or belittle adults. The end result is a handy little guide that is sure to help turn story time into discussion time, and maybe even help children become better readers as they ponder what they had just read.
While most devotional books that look at Narnia feature one person’s interpretation of the text, this one seeks to allow the readers to come to their own meanings and interpretations of the story. It also does not replace the fun or magic of reading the books as a whole, but rather enhances the series. Going back to the series on future readings can only become a much richer and more fulfilling experience for those who get caught up in the Deeper Magic of Narnia. The questions also make this a book that is perfect for sharing with a family.
Many readers may be put off by the idea of a Narnia devotional book, as it is a fantasy series written for children. Perhaps those same readers may discover something more about this beloved series through this book. Who knows, perhaps in sharing it with a child they may grow to become life-long readers and learners, as well as stronger Christians. A Year With Aslan is an excellent book that makes for an excellent gift any time of the year. If your New Years Resolution includes more devotional time, consider giving this book a try. You will be glad you did.
Five out of five shields.
Order the book from Amazon.com