Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Non-Fiction Picture Books Share Back Stories

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy -- hashtag #nfpb2020! Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!

           I didn't know this story of C.S. "Jack" and Warren "Warnie" Lewis, brothers and best friends all their lives. Caroline McAlister tells of their life together and apart, taking readers to the story of Narnia's birth, too. The boys' games lead to the beloved books that children continue to read and love. Jack had the imagination coming from extensive reading and pretending; Warnie leaned more to technology, ship-building for example. Together, after some separation in their schooling and during both World War I and World War II, they ended together. Jack wrote, always by hand; Warnie typed the manuscripts.
           Yes, early on in the attic of their home, there was a wardrobe, hand-carved by their paternal grandfather. Jessica Lanan's rather dreamy illustrations follow their lives, but focus on the beginnings of Narnia, way back in that attic when the boys imagined a world called "Boxen". Both author and illustrator add more information in the back matter. McAlister's and Lanan's notes show details of their research along with more of the story of these fascinating brothers. 
             Here's one of my favorite spreads, showing the boys' imaginative play, even within their differing interests. It's a lovely story, ending with that 'needed' glimpse of Aslan!

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