It is always funny, nice, or exciting (depending on your view) to learn the history behind a favorite book series. Or, even if you are not a fan, to learn about a popular reading series. And you get that in Through the Wardrobe: How C. S. Lewis Created Narnia by Lina Maslo.
This picture book biography of C. S. Lewis hits the highlights of his life, disappointments, inspirations and his family/personal life and his writing process. There is also mention about his Christian upbringing, questing faith and how it all ties together, comes to life, and made its way into his writing. Of course, it focuses mostly on the Chronicles of Narnia creation. We see the sensitive, imaginative child grow into an equally sensitive, imaginative adult. There is war, love and life.
Still, with all that information, it is a picture book. But it is one for the older crowd. I would not want to give it to a child under 5 as there is a lot of text and a bit dry (or not any “car chase type” of action). The only issue I have is that the ages that it could be perfect for (ages 8 to 10) will most likely be turned off by the picture book format.
The illustrations are colorful and busy. They tell the story almost as well as the text. The two pieces of the puzzle complement each other so that you see it all in a lighthearted manner. This is a nonfiction story written in a fiction style allowing it to be accessible to the reader.