Friday, November 30, 2012

Under The Book

Wow I am so so so so so so so so so tired...and I still have 48 straight hours this eight more at work today.  I kind of feel like this dude
Book worm
I will try and get back to some kind of normal schedule soon, I just have not had the time to read more then 3-4 pages this last week, and next week is not looking any better.  If my posts get a little weird you will all know why :-)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ever Not So Much

I love it when I find an author I really love because it makes picking out new books that much easier, I know if I pick up a book by a certain author I will probably very much enjoy it.  One of those authors is Gail Carson Levine.  Her retelling of Cinderella in Ella Enchanted is still one of my favorite books ever, and the Princess Tales are a book I get for every child I know and I have enjoyed her other books.  So you will understand a couple of years ago when she came out with a new book called Ever, I tried to wait until it came out in paperback, but was too impatient and happily brought my new book home.

The basic premise is pretty intresting.  A girl Kezi who loves to dance and is a weaver in the city of Hyte (which seems to be a Mediterranean type of place) catches the eye of Olus the god of wind.  Olus is part of a pantheon of Akkan gods and comes to know and love Kezi.  This troubles Kezi for many reasons, one of which she was raised to only believe in the god Admat as the only one god.  The other part of this story is how Kezi's father in a desperate attempt to save his wife makes a bargain with Admat that he will make a sacrifice of the first person to offer well wishes after his wife is well again.  Kezi's mother recovers and the first person to walk in the door is Kezi's aunt who had helped save her life as a young child.  To prevent her aunt from becoming the sacrifice Kezi speaks the words that will make her the sacrifice in place of her aunt.  After all this goes down the family gets 30 days with Kezi until they have to take her to the temple
and...well...kill her.  At first I thought it was a metaphorical sacrifice, like give her up to the temple to work or become a priestess or something, but nope they mean a literal sacrifice of her life.  Olus tries to find a way to save her and decides that the best way will be to make her immortal so that not only will she not be killed, but she can stay with him forever.  Kezi then goes on a strange quest/journey/test to become worthy of immortality.  Eventually she seems to gain it, but the final test is when she is sacrificed by her father and has to pretend to be dead to fulfill the oath.  After all of this she and Olus live happily ever after, never able to speak to her family or loved ones again.
I know this synopsis seems a little simplistic, but I felt that the book was a little simple and slow.  The story is told in alternating first-person switching between Kezi and Olus.  Sometimes the text gets a little confusing, seeming to skip parts, or double back to the same place.  I felt the characters were pretty flat with no real development (although Olus did have a few good lines) and I really wanted to know much more about the culture, religions and people in this book.  It was a very straight forward insta-love story with no real basis for eternal love other than it was convenient for the author.  I also found it disturbing how easily Kezi's father was willing to
sacrifice another humans life in exchange for his wife's, especially when he had no idea who the first person to walk through his door was going to be.  I think that this may have been a very cool idea to explore, what people believe and why, how far people are willing to go for each other and their beliefs, etc...but in the end it played a very small part in a strange simplistic love story between two teenagers. It seemed odd to almost ignore this huge thing to focus on puppy love.  I have read many reviews of this book and seen that people have both loved and hated it, so go ahead and read it and decide for your self.  I personally will probably not be reading this one again, and I wouldn't particularly recommend it for the younger crowd that I would usually target for Ms. Levine's books.  This has not turned me off of her books completely, the next book she wrote A Tale of Two Castles was actually quite entertaining and much more in the vein of writing I am used to seeing from her.  Overall the simple writing, the insta-love, the weird twisty journey that did not seem to fit the rest of the book made me not so huge a fan of this book.  I would give it 2 out of 5 beaded scarves.

What did you think of this book?  Did you love it or hate it?  Have you ever been disappointed by a favorite author before?  What do you think of human sacrifice in young adult novels?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Paper Dolls

This is gonna be a bit of a girly post, so my apologies to all of the un-girly types out there.  Growing up, besides reading books I loved playing with paper dolls.  I think the main reason was I could change there outfits in like two seconds and I was a very impatient child.  I also liked making up stories and putting on plays with them, using pages from my picture books as back drops.  Now that I am an adult, well I still like a little make-believe.  Here are a some literary inspired paper dolls for all of you to make your own fan-fic with.

Pride and Prejudice
Dress Elizabeth up in the perfect outfit to refuse Darcy's proposal
Little House 
Dress Laura and Mary in all of the latest prairie fashions
The Hunger Games
Get Katniss ready for her appearances before the Hunger Games
Mix and match the characters from the Bards different plays to come up with an original production
Nancy Drew
Not only is our favorite sleuth smart, but she is stylish in these vintage fashions

I hope everyone takes some time out of there busy schedules to play with a favorite toy, or flip through a favorite picture book from when you were young, and remember the simple joys of younger days :-)

What was one of your favorite toys (besides books)?  Did you hate how easily paper doll clothes ripped?  Did you have the punch out or cut out paper dolls? (I hated the cut out ones)  What new story line have you come up with using your favorite characters (I'm thinking of a Nancy Drew/Pride and Prejudice crossover series)? 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Quick Pick Me Up

Had a really rough night at the station, don't get to see my bed for at least another 12 hours and could really use a quick pick me up
Yep that will do it!  Hope everyone stays safe out there and find their own special pick me up!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dancing Through Life

I hope everybody had a great holiday weekend, and thanks to all of you first responders, hospital workers, retail folk, and everybody else who worked their hinny's off to keep us alive, safe, and able to spend way to much money at insane hours.  At my house the Christmas holiday always starts the weekend after Thanksgiving, now this year is a tad different because Thanksgiving was a little early this year, but the spirit is still there.  What better way to start off our holidays then with a little ballet.

Bunheads is a book that I pick up off the shelf completely at random and it turned out to be a good little book.  The book follows Hannah, a 19 year old dancer in the Manhattan Ballet Company.  She has been dancing since she was little and moved to New York at the age of 14 to live and attend the Ballet Academy. After graduation she became part of the corps de ballet which is the group part of the ballet.  Hannah does not like being called a ballerina because that is a very specific role in the ballet company and she is just a dancer. Which is not to say what she does is easy.  She and her fellow dancers work hours and hours each day to not only perfect each move and step, but to be able to do them together in perfect sync.  Hannah meets a musician one night while she is out trying to relax and is intrigued at his sheer lack of a plan.
Jacob has done a lot of things during his life, while in contrast Hannah has devoted every waking (and some dreaming) moment to perfecting her art.  The two start a sort of relationship and you can start to see the two view points of the different characters.  Hannah sees Jacob once or twice a month and feels like she is spending all her free time with him, while he feels that he hardly gets to see her at all.  Meanwhile back at the dance company competition is fierce for the solo spots and Hannah is not only in competition with the company and her friends, but herself as well.  She is horrified to discover that she has finally developed breasts (stunted puberty is very common in very athletic women) and director of the company has said she would be dropped from certain pieces if she could not fit into the costumes without a bra.  This causes Hannah to work even harder, to go to the gym more and to take extra classes outside of the ballet.  Meanwhile the son of a rich donor has taken
interest in Hannah, which is flattering to her and also nice because he understands how much work being a dancer requires, unlike Jacob who is losing patience.  Hannah's work pays off and she is awarded a solo piece in Rubies which a part of the Jewels ballet.  Her friend gets promoted to soloist status and Hannah realizes that all of the work she put in would only get harder and longer if she too made it to soloist.  She is terrified to do anything other than dance, not only because she has devoted so much of her life to it, but she does really love it as well.  Hannah eventually decides to finish out the season and then leave the company to go to college and try the life of a normal person.  She doesn't give up dance completely, she teaches children at a smaller studio and still takes the occasional class, it just becomes one aspect of her life instead of the whole thing.

I liked this book a lot, partly because I love anything to do with the performing arts and partly because it was a fairly realistic look at what a real dancer deals with.  The author herself was a dancer in the New York City ballet for 9 years so you can be pretty sure that those parts of the book are fairly authentic.  The basic storyline of a girl who meets a boy and has to decide between dance and a normal life was pretty  basic and predictable, no new territory explored there, but that was okay because I think it was just a framework for the world the author was trying to show us.  I loved the fact that Hannah was a working member of the
ballet, not some kid in school auditioning for a part in the company or a starring role that she miraculously got at the last second.  This is a kind of brutal look at girl and her job, in fact Hannah refers to the ballet many times as going to work, which is pretty accurate.  I have never been able to do ballet, way to much discipline involved for way to brief a career, but I have been in dance and acted in a theatre company for many years so I do have extensive behind the scenes knowledge.  This book was pretty accurate in portraying the kind of blahness that doing something almost everyday brings, even if you love what you do.  The banter, the getting ready, being thrown on stage, rushing to grab a sip of water the 5 seconds you are off stage, this is all part of what really goes on when you do this on a daily basis.  You tend to lose the specialness...until you get on stage.  That was another thing I really like about this book, Hannah loves dancing, it is hard and exhausting and sometimes even boring, but those few minutes at a time when you are on stage and you are in a completely different world, usually makes up for all the rest of the crap. Overall if you have any interest in what it is like to actually be in a performing company, when it becomes your job this book is great.  Again the story is nothing to special, but it is a pretty quick read and full of insights and information.  I found it a great start to the holiday season (even though it is not a holiday book)  I give it 7 out of 10 sugarplum faeries.

What behind the scenes do you want to see?  Do you think you could ever have the discipline it takes to do this as a job?  What play, ballet, song, do you never want to perform again? (Aladdin for me, if I never perform that one again I will be a happy girl!) Do you think all of us artsy folks are slightly off our rocker?

Thursday, November 22, 2012


On the road today so this will be quick.  I am still so very very very stuffed!  Had a great time making the traditional Turkey dinner with a twist.  Got to see lots of family and on the way to see even more!

Now if only I could burn off all those calories by reading I would be skinny in no time!  Hope everybody had a great holiday and are ready for the Christmas insanity that lies ahead!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Parade Day

It's here, it's here Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!  For as long as we have had a TV the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has been one of two stable family traditions that have actually stuck with my tradition adverse family (the other being ranch dressing :-) )  To this day, all six of us in six different states feel a sense of togetherness as we send each other pics of ourselves watching the parade.  Our poor significant others are not quit sure what fascination this cheesy event holds for grown adults, but it will forever be a part of my Thanksgiving.
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
A historic look at the parade, through pictures and reminiscing
Macy's On Parade: A Pop-up Celebration of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Macy's On Parade
You can't go wrong with a pop-up book!
Milly And The Macy's Parade
Milly and the Macy's Parade
Inspired by the first parade ever
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
Balloons Over Broadway
The balloons are one of my favorite parts
I am thankful to live in a country that I have access to any and all the reading material I want, I am thankful for family who has helped further my book addiction, I am thankful for my wonderful Hubbin who put's up with "just one more chapter" on a regular basis, and I am thankful for the health, happiness and well-being of all my loved ones

Full Tummy's

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, The Big Feast, The Stuff Yourself So Full You Have To Wear Sweatpants For A Week Day.  Whatever you call it, it is a holiday that revolves around FOOD! (And being thankful and all that stuff, but mostly food)  Now everybody has there own special traditions when it comes to food, weather it is who carves the turkey, or the only right way to make stuffing, or at our house ranch dressing.  Of course as soon as you get together with a significant other they bring THEIR traditions, which of course are inferior to our own, but we can be a team player and allow a teensy-tiny dish of whatever glop they think is festive on the back corner of the table :-)  In honor of this day of food (and thankfulness) I have put together a list of books where food takes a staring role.
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Kitchen Confidential
I am a huge Anthony Bourdain fan, and I love reading about his journey to discover food and all of the unseen and sometimes unsavory processes that go into getting it onto our plate.  
Garden Spells
Garden Spells
To be honest most of Sarah Addison Allen's books feature food prominently in the story lines, everything from flower and herbs that can enhance certain moods, to cakes that can magically call people back home, these books always make me hungry!
Good Eats: The Early Years
Good Eats
Based on the popular TV show this book has so much more than recipes, it has science and history and stories and just all kinds of foodie goodness.
Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set, Books 1-6
Harry Potter
Butter Beer, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Fizzing Whizbees, Treacle Tart, food plays a huge part in the world of Harry Potter and is one of the many delectable details that makes this such a great series.
What the Great Ate: A Curious History of Food and Fame
What the Great Ate
Fun little book full of stories and trivia about famous people and food, a perfect quick tidbit book for impressing friends and family at the dinner table.
I hope you find time to enjoy a great book this holiday, and have a lot of fun with friends and family.

What is your favorite food starring book?  What do you like to read when you are so full you can't move?  How awesome is it that we have a whole holiday that revolves around friends, family and food!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Prince Caspian: Forever My First Love

Continuing with my annual reread of The Chronicles of Narnia, I have just finished up Prince Caspian (PC).  When I first read these as a little girl, I had read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (LWW) many times before I moved on to the rest of the series and it had already become my favorite book. I remember being very excited to read the next book in the series, thinking it would be very similar.  A quick synopsis (Spoilers Ahead)
Our four hero's from the last book LWW have been back in our world for a year now and are getting set to head back to school.  They are all waiting at the train station when they are pulled onto a wooded beach.  
After some exploring the children (Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund) end up at the ruins of an ancient castle.  After further examanation the children realize it is their old castle Cair Paravel and that it must have been in ruins for hundreds of years.  The children rescue a dwarf from some human soldiers and learn a bit of the current history of the area.  The king is now a man named Miraz who has along with his ancestors have hunted, harried and scared the "Old Narnia" (ie the talking beasts, dwarves, giants, centaurs, pretty much anything not human or "normal") into hiding.  Miraz has a nephew Caspian who is the rightful heir to the throne, but must run for his life after Miraz has a son.  Caspian is taken in by the Old Narnian's and together they form an army of sorts to try and defeat Miraz and bring back the Old Narnia.  Caspian is in posession of Queen Susan's horn (one of the gifts given the children back in LWW) and blows it and this is what brings the children back to Narnia.  Trumpkin the dwarf is sent to the castle in the hopes that the Kings and Queens of old would appear there.  Trumpkin is doubtful that the four children are really the powerful monarchs of the past, but they prove themselves quit quickly.  The group decides to head to Aslan's How (the mound raised over the Stone Table) where Caspian and his army are holed up.  Along the way they get lost and Lucy see's Aslan the Great Lion who shows her where to go, it takes a couple of tries, but eventually all the children and the dwarf get where they need to be.  The girls and Aslan go through Narnia collecting the Old Narnians and any humans that want to live this new life.  Meanwhile the boys and Trumpkin work with Caspian to challange Miraz to single combat in the hope of winning the war without too much blood shed.  Peter wins against Miraz and the forest awakens and scares the rest of Miraz's army into surrender.  The old order is restored with Caspian as Narnia's rightful ruler and the four children return to England, but not before Peter and Susan are told that they are to old to come back.
As soon as I started reading about Caspian my 8 year old self fell completely in love with him, I write about 
my undying amore for him here.  I'm not sure if this was my first experiance with a book prince or if this was the first time I was old enough to have a crush (I started reading LLW when I was 5) but this Prince who was willing to risk everything for an imaginary country I wanted so badly to go to won me over completely. Other than my crush, I actually find this to be a very meloncholoy book.  Don't get me wrong, I still love it, I just could empathize with the four children, especially Peter and Susan when they are told they can't come back.  Imagine spending a life time in a magical land, ruling happily over these fantastic creatures, essentially living the dream just to be dumped back into your ordinary everyday lives as children.  Then you finally get to come back to this place of happiness and wonderment only to find it in ruins.  All of your happy memories have been left to crumble, your 
beloved country is being ruled by a tyrant, and you are stuck as a kid again.  To top it all off instead of getting to spend another life time here you only get a week or two before you are sent back to school.  I would imagine this would be especially brutal for the two oldest who are told that they are too old for Narnia and must learn to live and find magic in the real world.  It feels like the author is trying to make a comment about being forced to grow up.  C.S. Lewis continues to use beautiful and simple story telling.  I think that is one of the things I love about all of these books is that they are so simple and direct.  This is not to say that the story and characters are not complete, it's just a different style from the EPIC's one is used reading in fantasy.  It is always interesting to compare these stories, because to me they are more stories then books, to Lewis's contemperary J.R.R Tolkien and his EPIC (yes EPIC has to be in all caps) world building.  I love both authors for completly different reasons, but The Chronicles of Narnia will always be some of the most accessible books for any age.  Prince Caspian, while a little sad for the aforementioned reasons really shows you just how big Narnia and the world it belongs to can be, it reminds you that it is not all about the original four children, but about the world itself and the stories it has to tell.

What did you think of Prince Caspian?  Did you like it more or less then the first book?  Who was your first book crush?  How devestated would you be if you knew you could never go back?  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Kiddie Thanks

Thanksgiving is this week for all of us USA folks and that means food and family.  For a lot of families this also includes kids of various ages.  This of course leads to the annual fight over the TV between the big boys and girls who want to watch football/Macy's Parade/Turkey Zombies of the Undead and the little boys and girls who just want to watch that same episode of Dora the Explorer for the 100th time!  Here are some books that will hopefully keep the kiddies entertained while us big kids fight for the TV :-)
What Is Thanksgiving?
What Is Thanksgiving?
This is a nice way to show the kids a quick history behind the holiday
Five Silly Turkeys
Five Silly Turkeys
Silly counting songs involving turkeys
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
Balloons Over Broadway
The parade is the real meaning of Thanksgiving :-)
Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet
Fancy Nancy
I love love love Fancy Nancy...I might get this book for me
Happy Thanksgiving, Curious George
Curious George
No bookshelf is complete without our favorite monkey

Hopefully these will keep the kiddos (or you) entertained long enough to drag out the old 22 inch tv and hook it up in the guest room, or maybe this year we can skip TV (after the parade of course) and just snuggle and read to each other while sipping sparkling cider and sneaking into the kitchen for left overs.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving story?  Do you have a full house, or is it pretty low key?  Do you lock yourself in the bedroom so you can finish Turkey Day of the Dead before dinner?

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics)This year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Children's and Household Tales, better known to us as Grimm's Fairy Tales.  These tales were collected, edited and published over the course many years from many sources.  The brothers were trying to correlate these myths and tales to national identity.  These tales which range from simple moral stories to gory horrifying cautionary tales seem to reflect the age in which they were first told.  Fast forward 200 years later and many of these stories are still popular today such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, and many many others.  There are also many less well known tales which are a lot of fun to explore.  Another popular way to tell these stories is to rewrite them, either modernize them, expand them, or completely rework be honest that is exactly what the Grimm brothers did to the tales they collected, they edited several of them to make them more acceptable to their current time period.  Here are some reworkings of a few of Grimm's tales.
Allerleirauh (Thousandfurs) is a tale of a girl who makes herself a cloak from every type of fur to hide from her father who wishes to marry her (I know EW!). Deerskin is a novel length retelling of this story. This is an adult version of the tale (although one could argue there is no good way to tell this story to a child) and it deals more with the princess finding her own inner strength then the more Cinderella like aspects of the original story.
Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters Series #1)
The Six Swans is a story of a girl who goes through many hardships, including voluntarily staying silent for years to bring her transformed brothers back to their human forms. Daughter of the Forest which you can find out how much I love here is one of the best re imaginings of an old tale I have read in a very long time.  It keeps every aspect of the plot while fleshing out the characters and places.
Toads and Diamonds
Mother Hulda is a variant on the Diamonds and Toads type story about a good girl who gets rewarded with gold and/or jewels and a lazy girl who is punished with pitch and/or toads.  I like Toads and Diamonds because it changes the setting to India which gives it a special flavor all its own.
The Frog Princess (The Tales of the Frog Princess Series #1)
The Frog King or Iron Henry is the classic story of girl meets frog and is repulsed and throws it against the wall oddly this originally is what transforms him back into a prince, not a kiss as in later versions.  The Frog Princess is a pretty hilarious reversal of the original stories premise  I read this one pretty quick, but it is kid appropriate so it might be fun to read with your little prince/princess.
Handless Maiden
The Girl Without Hands is one of the more gory/disturbing of the Grimm stories, not one you want to read the kiddies before bed.  The Handless Maiden is the most modern retelling in this list and completely reworks the story into something brand new.  The themes of the original are still there though.

There are obviously many many many adaptions of these stories and when you get into the short stories (all of the ones on this list are novel length) you can find more of the lesser known tales as well.  I think having knowledge of the originals as well as updating them is important because it shows us where we come from and the various changes that have been made to get where we are now.

What is your favorite Grimm fairy tale?  What is your favorite adaption?  How many variants one one story do you think they can possibly have?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Old Books, New Tricks

With the holiday season just around the corner (I refuse to call it the holiday's until the week of Thanksgiving!) now is the time you crafty sorts start preparing your loving homemade gifts for us klutzy types who should not be allowed around scissors/hot glue/pins/needles/etc... Here are some great examples of great hand made gifts you can make for your resident book worm (just don't use his/her books to do it, he/she may kill you until you are dead!)
Book Spine Book Marks
These are totally awesome and easy to make, a great way to keep a piece of that beloved book that is literally falling apart at the seams
Book Purse
You could go so many directions with this, a great way to use a vintage children's book.  Added bonus this is from EPBOT which is one of my favorite sites!
Book Clock
This would look great sitting on a bedside table, or on a bookshelf, or on the wall, or just about anywhere.  It is much easier to make then it looks, making you the gift maker seem like a genius!
Tree Ornament
This would be a lovely addition to any gift and can double as an ornament or decoration

Resin and Book Jewelry
Oooh so pretty, a fairly easy way to capture your favorite saying to wear with you always!

So what are you all making me?  What type of book crafts have you done (I want pictures!)?  If somebody else took the book apart for you, do you think it would be easier to do these crafts?  Do you think I will ever be allowed to use a hot glue gun?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

First And Favorite

I hope everybody had a great weekend, I know, I know it's Tuesday, but I got lucky and had a nice long three day weekend, of which I promptly volunteered half of it away to the fire station, but that's another story.  The weather was fantastic and I FINALLY got a ton of reading time in, I finished three books and am  very excited about all of them.  Today though I am going to start my Narnia re-read series of posts 'cause of all the books I have read (and their have been many) these are still my favorite.
I still read the books in the order they were published, not the chronological order they are in now, mostly because that is how I first read them.  The other reason is that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe will always be the first book, in fact even with the new numbering system most people read this one first.  I hope you are all ready for a little bit of a nostalgia overload because I can talk about these for hours, but we will start with the first book (known from here on out as LWW).
Quick synopsis of the book (SPOILER ALERTS)
Four children Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are sent to the countryside to get away from the bombings of WWII.  While at this huge house and left to their own devices the youngest Lucy discovers another world by going through the wardrobe.  In this land called Narnia she meets a faun called Mr. Tumnus who gives her a quick history of the land, telling her that the Queen (who is really the White Witch) has frozen the land in a perpetual winter for many many years.  The faun befriends Lucy at great risk to himself as he has been tasked with bringing any humans he may meet to the queen.  Back at home Lucy is perplexed to discover no one missed her even though she had been gone hours.  Later Edmund follows Lucy into the wardrobe where he meets the Queen who plies him with Turkish Delight and a Hot Cocoa like drink.  She is intrigued to hear he has a brother and two sisters and tells him if he can convince them to come to her palace she will make Edmund a Prince.  Back in our world Edmund pretends he was just playing along with Lucy, making her miserable.  The older children are worried about her, but are at a loss of what to do.  Eventually all four children end up going through the wardrobe to Narnia where they discover that Mr. Tumnus has been captured by the Queen.  The children are taken in by Mr. and Mrs. Beaver who tell the children of a prophecy about the thrones at the castle Cair Paravel and the demise of the Queen,
"When Adams flesh and Adam's bone
Sits at Cair Paravel in throne,
The evil time will be over and done.
The children also learn about the existence of Aslan, the great lion who's coming is foretold to break winters hold on Narnia. The group then realizes Edmund is missing and we learn that he has gone to the Queen on his own to tell her about Aslan and his siblings being close by.  Instead of the warm welcome he was expecting, the Queen has him chained and put in her sled so that they can go capture the rest of the children. Meanwhile the children along with the Beavers have made their escape and are trying to reach the Stone Table where they are to meet Aslan and his supporters.  Along the way they meet Father Christmas, a sign that the Queens power is weakening.  They are given gifts that are tools, not toys.  A sword and shield for Peter, A bow, quiver of arrows, and a very special horn that can summon help from anywhere for Susan, and a dagger and a bottle of healing cordial that can heal any wound for Lucy.  The children meet up with Aslan as winter finally melts into spring.  Peters battle skills are tested when a wolf chases Susan up a tree 
and she uses her horn to summon help.  Being knighted by Aslan, Peter assumes a leadership role.  A rescue of Edmund made and the Queen and Aslan bargain for the right to keep him.  Eventually it comes to light that Aslan has traded his life for Edmunds.  The girls go with Aslan as he willing gives himself up, while the boys stay behind and do battle with the Queen and her army.  Aslan returns to life, citing an even older prophecy and takes the girls to free all of the beings that the White Witch had turned to stone during her reign.  The tide turns in favor of the Narnians and the Witch is destroyed.  The four children are crowned King Peter the Magnificent, Queen Susan the Gentle, King Edmund the Just and Queen Lucy the Valiant.  They grew to become great rulers of Narnia.  One day while out hunting the four are transported back into their world, the same age as when they left it, but remembering everything that happened.
Ok so now you know the basic story, I will now go on into great detail about why I love this book so much! Obviously there is the nostalgia factor, it was one of the very first books I read after learning how to read, which may account for my love of fantasy.  I have read LWW so many times my husband is convinced I don't actually read it anymore, that I have it all memorized and could probably quote the whole thing beginning to end.  The fact that the book was about four children, and I myself come from a family of four children made it very relateable.  The story itself is very simple, not overly complex, no 15000 characters to keep track of, no epic details of sex and slaughter, just a very well put together story of relateable characters.  A lot of people see this story as an allusion to the Bible, a partial retelling of the Resurrection of Christ, which is very possible as C.S. Lewis considered himself a Christian writer.  I think this story goes beyond just Judeo-Christianity though, I think the theme of sacrifice is one that can be found in almost any culture, religion, or mythology.  Susan for the longest time was my favorite character in the book, I think being the oldest of four children I really identified with her mothering behavior.  Now that I am older I am kinda in love with the White Witch (call me a sucker for a good villain).  This book has inspired me my whole life, and I am not ashamed to admit that every time I move to a new place one of the first things I do is go push on the back wall of the coat closet...just in case.

When was the first time you read this book?  Who was your favorite character the first time you read it?  Who is your favorite character now?  Admit it, you look in the back of your closets too!