Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Letters to Children” as Want to Read:
Letters to Children
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Letters to Children

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,988 ratings  ·  200 reviews
In his life, C.S. Lewis received thousands of letters from young fans who were eager for more knowledge of his bestselling Narnia books and their author. Here are collected many of his responses to those letters, in which he shares his feelings about writing, school, animals, and of course, Narnia. Lewis writes to the children - as he wrote for them - with understanding an ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published August 9th 1988 by Collier Books (first published 1985)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,988 ratings  ·  200 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Letters to Children
Susan Budd
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
C. S. Lewis was a special soul, one of those rare people who retain the best of youth even into old age. He had a rapport with children that was surely the product of his own child-like nature.

In his essay, “On Three Ways of Writing for Children,” he recounts an anecdote that, I think, provides some insight into his ability to speak to children as fluently and naturally as he does: “I have been told that Arthur Mee never met a child and never wished to: it was, from his point of view, a bit of
...more
Cindy Rollins
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, 2019
I just love Lewis. If he writes it, I read it. These letters are especially chatty and full of life. In fact, being a somewhat over the top Lewis fan, I even cried when the letters were on my birthday, and as if I did not know the ending of the story I cried at the end too. There was something emotional about reading letters a person wrote not knowing their own expiration date. Maybe we are doing that very thing right now.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is Lewis's letters to a y
...more
Gary Reads
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. C. S. Lewis in my opinion is a great author. The letters that he wrote back to the children were very understandable. My favorite was when he explained how to pronounce Aslan and the meaning of him. I would recommend this book to anyone young or old.
Amy
Satisfying and lovely. I don't have many cohesive thoughts, just warmth and satisfaction from reading it. Lewis's letters are encouraging, instructive, and occasionally just about mundane things like the weather.
I love how often he encourages children to write their own Narnia stories. He answers lots of questions about the Narnia books which is nice because every fangirl wants that little bit of more.
I love how intelligently he writes to children. He peppers his letters with references to othe
...more
Rachel
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As you can imagine, C. S. Lewis had many young fans who loved his books, especially the Chronicles of Narnia. And many of those kids wrote to him, some of them repeatedly! In fact, he carried on a years-long correspondence with quite a number of young people, even critiquing stories they sent him and so on. Now, some of these letters were from his godchildren, or the children of friends, but many are from complete strangers.

And the kindness, the warmth, the compassion, and the understanding that
...more
Bekah
I envy these children their luck in corresponding with Lewis. The brilliant man died when my mother was only five years old, so I missed out by miles in my chance, but it was wonderful to read these collected responses. Lewis was so humble in receiving praise and encouraging to those who expressed an interest in writing. I was thoroughly impressed by his discussion of theology, how he never spoke down to any of these children, never tried to dumb things down. It also amused me that he even encou ...more
Ben
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pure joy. This is my second time through this little volume of letters and it is just as enjoyable as last time. Lewis’ letters here contain a lot of compassion, clarifying bits about Narnia, and one particularly moving letter to a boy who was afraid he was loving Aslan more than Jesus. It’s odd to read someone else’s mail, but it helps you really get to know Lewis.
Jess
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you don’t already love C.S. Lewis (and you really should), this little book will make you crazy about him. It’s a selection from hundreds of letters he wrote to children from all over the world in response to their questions and comments about his books—mostly the Narnia series. Some of the letters he wrote just after his wife passed away, and he was still so thoughtful.
.
He was the perfect correspondent! Listen to this:
.
“Dear [Children],
“Thank both Martin and Micky for their nice letters. Do
...more
Rissie
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. It’s a small collection of C.S. Lewis’ responses to letters that children wrote to him about his Narnia books. The letters are so nice … he takes the children and their news/concerns/ideas seriously and responds to them with interest and concern – as though he were responding to an adult. I’d love to get a letter like that even now!
Nick
Jun 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: C.S. Lewis fans
I thoroughly enjoyed this slight volume. The intimate and mundane details of Lewis' life are fascinating to me, and it is always helpful to see how others write letters. I'm afraid my letters are rather pedestrian. I highly recommend this book! ...more
Christine Seibert
What a joy to read C.S. Lewis' words of wisdom to his young readers. He encourages and challenges them, but always in a tone that respects them as equals. As expected he is winsome and kind. The letters humanize Lewis and made me sad that he is not still on this earth.

*Note: I have an edition of this book from 1985. Not sure how different it is from this version, but I'm sure it is similar so I'm counting recording it here!
...more
Jon Beadle
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How charming! Lewis thought it a shame that the dog sent to space didn’t return with super-intelligence and try to conquer man; that _Till We Have Faces_ was his best novel (even though it was a critical and commercial flop!); that Joyce was overrated, and Nietzsche a better poet than philosopher. Little tie bits like these make this thin volume worth a read for every true fan.
Olivia
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so on top of everything else, the man answered his fan-mail. WHY WAS HE PERFECT?!?!

(All right, so he wasn't perfect, but sometimes I feel like I'm dangerously close to putting him on that pedestal.)
...more
Mwrogers
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course I would rate this book 5 stars, as I do nearly everything CS Lewis. It is very touching to know that this busy and brilliant college professor did not think it beneath him to answer children’s letters. I also loved it when he closed his letter asking the child to pray for him. What a blessing this man was (and still is!) for us on this side of Narnia.
Christine
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a delight this was to read!
Stephen
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful glimpse behind the curtain full of insights into CSL’s thought processes. I’m terribly sorry I never got to sit with him over a pint to discuss Perelandra.
Rebekah Choat
C.S. Lewis, in addition to being a prolific writer of scholarly works, poems, Christian apologetics, and fiction, carried on extensive correspondence. He considered it a solemn duty to personally answer each of the thousands of letters he received – and not perfunctory, generic, “Thank you for writing; I wish you well.” The responses he penned are truly personal and specific, giving detailed thanks for small gifts, carefully answering questions asked, and thoughtfully addressing whatever issues ...more
Joanne
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Given how young I was when I first fell in love with Narnia and began to deeply admire C.S. Lewis, it is little wonder that I thoroughly enjoyed the book “C.S. Lewis: Letters to Children.” This wonderful, beautiful compilation of letters he wrote between 1944-1963 to children, including many Americans, paints a lovely picture of a man I’ve never met, but who is, in my imagination, a dear friend. So sentimental in tone, I got a bit teary-eyed at how gentle and sweet he was to his many young fans. ...more
Meredith
Very interesting. Who knew that C S Lewis disliked Cicero, read Pride and Prejudice numerous times, and agreed the Chronicles of Narnia should be read beginning with "The Magician's Nephew" and ending with "The Last Battle"? An order, by the way, I would also recommend.

I didn't read all the letters and it was very short, so I won't be counting this one for my annual book challenge.

Things that could have made it better: Letters FROM the children rather than only letters TO the children(apparentl
...more
Miss Clark
Wonderful book, with plenty of neat details and facts, esp. about his Narnia series.

Excerpts:
22 January 1977

Dear Martin,

The books don't tell us what happened to Susan. She is left alive in this world at the end, having by then turned into a rather silly, conceited young woman. But there is plenty of time for her to mend, and perhaps she will get to Aslan's country in the end - in her own way. I think that whatever she had seen in Narnia she could (if she was the sort that wanted to) persuade he
...more
Ruth
Jan 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this collection about fifteen years ago, and at that time I'd only read the Narnia books once and had no exposure to Lewis's other works. This reading, of course, proved a far richer experience. I think the best aspect is witnessing how Lewis expressed his fierce intellect and deep theological understanding in simple language. Case in point, what he says about being who God created you to be in the body of Christ: "A good toenail is not an unsuccessful attempt at a hair; and if it w ...more
Jessica
Jan 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

I reluctantly settled for it when, after deciding to read all of Lewis, I couldn't find many of his more well-known works at the local library. I was pleasantly surprised.

Furthermore, it was a little fortuitous that I read this before any of his great works; I feel it served as a nice introduction to the author beforehand!

What I especially loved was that it became clear to me through his letters that he was a down-to-earth person despite his success and fame. Al
...more
Stan Shelley
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a marvelous book. Normally I have to really slow down to read CS Lewis but this one reads like a breeze...because, of course, it is letters to children. Lewis writes in a way that is accessible to them but at the same time he does not talk down to them. He is just full of Christian kindness. He answers their questions, give advice if it was requested and seems to genuinely care. The letter he wrote to the little boy who was concerned that he loved Aslan more than Jesus was priceless. And he ...more
Caroline
Dec 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves children
I flew through this book - and when I finished C.S. Lewis became more like a grandfather to me. I have always reveled in his literary genius and theological mind. Yet, to read these letters, I saw quite clearly his passion and love for children. Why else would he painstakingly write letters encouraging and teaching those brave souls who were faithful to correspond?

I only wish I had lived at that time to receive even a nugget of wisdom or jest from this wonderful man!
Rachel
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of letters from CS written to children from around the world. This book makes me want to meet CS Lewis even more than I ever did before. He is so frank, and so open, and so honest in his letters and he so obviously enjoys observing things from a child-like viewpoint, and intellectual discourse even with children... I wish he was still alive when I was young so I could have written to him.
Joshua Brist
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book. I am so grateful that these editors took the massive amount of time and work that it must have taken to compile these very insightful and meaningful letters of C.S. Lewis. I now feel like I understand this man more even after reading his semi-autobiography ("Surprised by Joy.")

I learned, I laughed, and by the end I definitely cried. Five stars.
...more
Ginnie
Sep 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you ever wanted to ask C.S. Lewis a question it's very possible you will find the answer to those questions it this book. Written in a simple way with little illustrations from his own hand I recommend this to all Lewis fans. ...more
Zack Mollhagen
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely reminder of the gentleness and respect that Lewis had for children. This book shows that Lewis held Christ's teaching dear, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Mathew 19:14). ...more
Kendall
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good. I think that Lewis, in writing to children, is not trying to prove anything; he simply says what he thinks. This gives these letters an aphoristic quality, almost like a collection of proverbs.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Good.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dorothy and Jack: The Transforming Friendship of Dorothy L. Sayers and C. S. Lewis
  • The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis
  • Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison
  • Mere Motherhood: Morning times, nursery rhymes, and my journey toward sanctification
  • For the Children's Sake
  • The Good Life: What Jesus Teaches about Finding True Happiness
  • Phantastes
  • Oooh! Matisse
  • Understood Betsy
  • Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel
  • Owl Moon
  • Smith of Wootton Major
  • Take Heart: 100 Devotions to Seeing God When Life's Not Okay
  • Manassas (The Civil War Battle Series, #1)
  • Shenandoah (The Civil War Battle Series, #8)
  • Vicksburg (The Civil War Battle Series, #5)
  • Antietam (The Civil War Battle Series, #3)
  • Chancellorsville (The Civil War Battle Series, #4)
See similar books…
35,225 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.


Clive Staples Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge
...more

Related Articles

  Author Lydia Denworth is a science journalist who has written about everything from Alzheimer’s to zebrafish. In her latest book,...
47 likes · 10 comments
“In writing. Don't use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was "terrible," describe it so that we'll be terrified. Don't say it was "delightful"; make us say "delightful" when we've read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, "Please will you do my job for me."

[Letter to Joan Lancaster, 26 June 1956]”
84 likes
“Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.” 40 likes
More quotes…