New Narnia Resource Aids Children
Book Review

by Phil Boatwright

The release of Believing In Narnia, a new paperback designed to help children 7 through 11 decipher the secret symbols of Christianity within C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, is set to coincide with the opening of the second movie installment, The Chronicles of Narnia:  Prince Caspian.

Author Natalie Nichols Gillespie is the mom and step-mom of seven Narnia fans and a student of the book series herself since childhood.  The author of several books and hundreds of articles on the subject of Christian symbolism within the writings of the C. S. Lewis children’s classic has written her latest book with the curiosity of small children in mind, but also manages to capture the attention of older readers as well.

The book is a resource meant to stimulate thought and answer questions concerning the allegories and Christian symbols hidden within the Narnia novels.  It offers clear, kid-friendly explanations of the symbolism in the characters and the story elements.    The thoughtful book also stimulates interest in Bible study and learning more about biblical principles and principals.

Ms. Gillespie’s book is filled with such fascinating facts as:

  1. Turkish Delight, Edmund’s favorite sweet treat, symbolizes two ideas:  temptation and the notion that evil knows our weakest spots and uses that to attack us.
  2. Father Christmas represents the story of Jesus coming to earth to save people from their sins.  His gifts to three of the Pevensie siblings represent spiritual gifts.
  3. With Jesus in your heart, you can bring the light of God’s love into dark places, as the lamppost did in the woods of Narnia.
  4. The lion Aslan, king of Narnia, represents Jesus.
  5. The door in The Last Battle represents death, and death does not have to be scary for followers of Jesus.

“While I edited the previous press notes, those are the thoughts of a Thomas Nelson publicity person.  After reading the book, I concur with those selling points.  I know that reading Believing In Narnia will aid me in my appreciation of the new film release.  I found it a pleasure to read and helpful in deciphering the messages placed in the Narnia series by Christian theologian C. S. Lewis.  I highly recommend it for Chronicles enthusiasts of all ages.”  - Phil Boatwright, Preview On Line

Believing in Narnia by Natalie Gillespie is available at most bookstores.

Ten Secret Symbols from Believing in Narnia

  1. Prince Caspian symbolizes what faith is. He believes in Aslan even though he has never seen him and has only heard stories about Him.
  2. The blood of Jesus was shed to give everyone eternal life who believes in Him. Aslan’s blood gave King Caspian eternal life.
  3. Digory’s dragon skin would not come off until he allowed Aslan to take it off; our sins don’t leave us until we allow Jesus to take them away.
  4. When Edmund talks to Aslan, he is changed forever. When we talk to Jesus, He changes us forever!
  5. Lucy’s relationship with Aslan shows us the kind of relationship we should have with Jesus. He should be our BFF.
  6. The Stone Table breaks in half when Aslan dies, just like the veil was torn in two in the temple when Jesus died.
  7. Aslan tells Jill that she needs to come and drink the water that is near him or she will die of thirst. Jesus told his followers that He is “living water.”
  8. After Shasta meets Aslan, he discovers he is actually the long-lost son of a great king. Jesus is the King above all kings, and when we believe in Him, we become his sons and daughters.
  9. Rilian is at first fooled by a fake Aslan but is then forgiven. When we turn away from Jesus and put our faith in anything else, we can be forgiven if we turn back to Him.
  10. Aslan put Peter Pevensie in charge of leading Narnia, just like Jesus put the disciple Peter in charge of leading the first Christians.

Five Fun Facts from Believing in Narnia

  1. “Aslan” is Turkish for “lion.”
  2. The mighty mouse Reepicheep comes from the family of mice who gnawed through the ropes that bound Aslan to the Stone Table as the White Witch killed him.
  3. In Prince Caspian, the trees eat different kinds of dirt at the Feast of Aslan.
  4. Digory Kirke grew up to be a professor, and Chronicles author C. S. Lewis was a famous professor.
  5. Turkish Delight, the candy Edmund loves, is a jellied candy that can be made with powdered sugar, cornstarch, orange juice, chopped toasted almonds or pistachios, and rosewater.