I began to make suggestions to the girls about other books we could read, but Meg had already made up her mind. "I want to read the Lion book," she said. The Lion book is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In addition to having individual copies of each book in the Narnia series, we have the Narnia books collected into one large volume with a lion on the spine of the book. Meg has been intrigued by that book since she was two years old. We have told her bits and pieces of the story, but she very much wants to know that Lion's whole story.
I hesitated to introduce The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe so early. They are not going to understand the allegorical elements of the story. But then I realized that was just one layer. C.S. Lewis intended the Narnia series to be a fantasy story for children, not just Christian allegory for college students to return to after they've read Mere Christianity. I didn't read the Narnia series until I was in college. I never had the experience that I've heard from others of sitting in my closet hoping desperately that it would open into Narnia. I've never enjoyed the Narnia series on the fantasy level. And if my kids are good at anything, it is fantasy. Not only do they have over-the-top imaginations, they have a great understanding of the fairy and elf world. If anyone can appreciate a faun, it is Meg and Clare.
So, I decided to start reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to the girls. They've enjoyed it so far. If it becomes apparent they aren't ready for it, we'll stop. The day after we began reading it, we coincidentally had a nature class about beavers, which nicely prepared the girls for the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver in the book. The nature teacher brought a beaver skin to allow the students to feel the beaver's fur (see picture below). Meg asked how the beaver had died. The teacher replied she didn't know. Meg responded, "He looks very flat now. I think a tree fell on him." See, quite the imagination.