The Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader shows the reader how C. S. Lewis was guided by two “templates” in writing Dawn Treader: first, an ancient Celtic folktale known as the immram, or wondrous sea-voyage, in which great saints like Brendan the Navigator sought to reach paradise itself.
But on another level, Lewis also built his adventure story around the traditional stages of the Christian life: from initial resistance to God’s grace, to discovering how sin enslaves us and “turns us into dragons,” to experiencing both the relief found in Christ and the cleansing waters of baptism.
From this period of purgation the story turns to the illuminating adventures of resisting further temptation, to exploring silence (and learning how to deal with distractions, or “Dufflepuds”), to a final terrifying journey to the “Island of Darkness” (the dark night of the soul). The final stage of union begins with a Eucharistic feast at Aslan’s Table where an ancient star and his lovely daughter sing joyfully every morning.
As the Dawn Treader sails beyond where the stars sing, the travelers find a world of wonders, characterized by light, and clarity, and finally the encounter with Aslan — Christ — himself.
This book will delight fans of C. S. Lewis with new insights into one of his classic stories, and will also help the more casual reader (and movie-goer) to understand the rich meaning behind this charming children’s adventure.
A word from the author: “To fully appreciate The Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader, be sure to read it alongside C. S. Lewis’s Narnia adventure, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Each chapter in my book corresponds to the same chapter in Lewis’s. His book recounts the adventure; mine offers reflections for you to ponder as you make the journey to Aslan’s country at the very end of the Narnian world.”
Praise for The Lion, the Mouse and the Dawn Treader:
“Buried within C. S. Lewis’s children’s books are timeless messages about the Christian faith. Carl McColman reveals how Lewis’s fascinating adventure can help us more fully understand spiritual insights from not only Jesus himself, but also some of the great saints and mystics. By turns playful, provocative and profound, McColman asks us to ‘become like little children’ in order to understand some very adult lessons.”
James Martin, SJ, author of Between Heaven and Mirth
“The Lion, The Mouse and The Dawn Treader is an amazing, thoroughly inspiring adventure. The Narnia stories are not just for children, but if you want help to assist children (or anyone) to understand their depth, read this book! You can touch the whole journey of the Christian search for God – and likely be spurred toward renewal in your own life – by getting on this Narnian ship.”
Trina Paulus, author of Hope for the Flowers