…And quite honestly, I’m not sure if it was necessary at all. Sure, this adaptation from The World of Narnia is cute with its paintings and classical borders, but it’s rather, well, boring. Edmund and the White Witch: Adapted From The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis tells a very abridged tale of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, introducing the young audience to this vibrant and magical world. However, the subtleties and gorgeous descriptions within the novel are absent, and instead readers are rushed through not only the introduction to Narnia—including the lovely Mr. Tumnus, who was reduced to half a sentence, and the dreadful fear of the White Witch—but the entire novel.
Instead, this installment focuses on Edmund’s encounter with the witch—hence, the title—and his lust for power and sweets. The witch makes him many promises that she claims she will keep upon his return, as we all know, and that’s pretty much where this book ends.Aside from the lovely illustrations, I’m not sure why this adaptation was even made. Children have become lost in the world of Narnia when read the book aloud by adults for many years, so why adapt it with so much summarizing and boring lack of action and development? My daughter chose this book from the library and I thought it would be a fun read; instead, we both found ourselves bored, and I regretted that this was her first experience with the story. I should have started with the actual novel.
The only reason I could see this book being made was to make more money off the series. It is completely unnecessary and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone based on anything other than the pictures—and even those I would recommend leaving to your imagination rather than seeing them before reading and dreaming up the characters yourself. Why steal that wonderful experience from your children?
If you think your children are too young for the series, I would certainly suggest simply waiting until they are older before delving into it rather than starting with a picture book. And for goodness sake, don’t begin with the movie, either! That is a surefire way to ensure that the love of the movie surpasses the love of the book—indeed, even prevent the love of the book from growing in the first place. In fact, making it a regular rule to read the book first with any children’s novel—and with many adult novels—would be a good idea anyway.