Illustrator Pauline Baynes (cover), John Morton-Sale Author William Croft Dickinson Year 1973 (first published 1944) Publisher Puffin ISBN unknown
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On Beltane Eve Donald and Jean decide to visit the dark mysterious wood on top of the hill. And in the wood they meet Borrobil. As Borrobil explained to them, Beltane is one of the most magic nights of the year, when the White King of Summer must defeat the Black King of Winter. But Borrobil also describes himself as the best good magician who ever lived in these parts since the rule of King Diarmid. What better guide could Donald and Jean have to take them to see Morac defeat the poison-breathing Dragon and thence to the north to fetch Princess Finella to be Morac’s bride? But the Black Sulig has first to be overcome and when they eventually reach Finella’s castle more dangers threaten from the men of the Long Ships. Continue reading →
Illustrator Pauline Baynes Author C. S. Lewis Year 1973 (first published 1950) Publisher Puffin ISBN 0-14-030132-1
This is a story of magic adventure, and very powerful magic it was, in which four ordinary children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, became involved. It started in a strange house where they were staying, and Lucy found she could go through the back of a wardrobe into a snowy land of pine forests where she found a faun. Edmund got through to it too, but he did not find the friendly faun. Instead he ran straight into the White Witch herself, a terrifying person, but she gave him what he wanted more than anything else at the moment – Turkish Delight. Then he told her of Lucy’s adventures with the faun, and about the other brother and sister who had not yet found the way through the wardrobe. Two boys, two girls! That was what the old legend told her that she needed to hold her spell over the land of Narnia, so she made Edmund promise to bring the other three to her. That was how it started, with the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Lion was not long in making an appearance. He was the great Aslan, Lord of the Wood.
This is the first of a series of stories about Aslan and Narnia. The final one of them (The Last Battle) won the Carnegie Medal as the best book for children published in 1956. It appeals especially to nine- to twelve-year-olds but some will read it earlier, and many will still enjoy it a good deal later.