I have fond memories as a child reading this book. It was one of my favorites when I was kid and I wanted to share it with my children. I saw the Disney movie version when it came out in theaters in 2005 and really liked the movie. The special effects were so much better than an older movie version. It liked it a lot. So I had my daughter watch the movie and then to my horror I realized that she saw the movie before reading the book. Yikes! In my mind books are way better than movies. I didn’t want to ruin the book for her. Great!
So I got the book from the library and I read a chapter a day outloud to her. She really liked reading the book outloud, but she also knew the movie plot well and couldn’t wait until Aslan came to save day. (She yelled GO ASLAN during the movie and the book. Thank goodness we were at home.) It was interesting for me to read outloud because I kept hearing the child actors voices in my head with English accents and I kept seeing their faces as as the characters in the book. Kind of weirded my out.
I tend to like fantasy a lot and I like this one. Yeah there is some inherant sexism in the book and probably some other problems, but on the whole its a great story. I do keep in mind the C.S. Lewis was a product of his time just as much as we are of ours. I love that it is 4 children who journey to Narnia, a world of talking beasts and magic to defeat the evil White Witch who has made it always winter and never Christmas. I think it’s a wonderful Christian Fantasy book.
So did I ruin the experience for my daughter by having her watch the movie first? I’m not so sure. I think watching the movie helped pique her interest in the book. Afterall the book is a little long for four year old. On the other hand I don’t think movies are necessarily the best way to motivate children to read. We are reading Prince Caspian right now so that she can watch the movie. Reading to me is so much more satisfying than watching a movie.
What do you think? How do movies based on books help or hinder reading? What has been your experience with books made into movies?