Jessica Lanan
Cover image of picture book 'Finding Narnia: The Story of C.S. Lewis and his Brother' featuring two boys opening the door of a wardrobe

Finding Narnia: The Story of C.S. Lewis and His Brother

Written by Caroline McAlister & illustrated by Jessica Lanan
Roaring Brook/Macmillan Kids, 2019
ISBN: 9781626726581

Before C.S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, he was a young boy named Jack who spent his days dreaming up stories of other worlds filled with knights, castles, and talking animals. His brother, Warnie, spent his days imagining worlds filled with trains, boats, and technology. One rainy day, they found a wardrobe in a little room next to the attic, and they wondered. . . what if the wardrobe had no end?

Years later, Jack began to think about what could be beyond that wardrobe, and about a girl named Lucy and her siblings. This picture book biography introduces the beloved creator of The Chronicles of Narnia to a new generation of children who see hidden magic in the world around them.

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An Amazon best nonfiction book for fall 2019

A vivid portrait of inspiration and imagination… Masterfully explains how a classic series came to be while maintaining a sense of mystery and wonder.

★ Kirkus, Starred Review

Lanan’s expressive, soft-focused art is meticulously in step with McAlister’s lyrical narrative, as both move from the often-harsh real world to the mystical realm of Narnia. Concluding notes from author and illustrator provide beguiling background bits—notably about one fortuitously inspiring wooden wardrobe.

Classroom Resources

Early character sketches of C.S. Lewis

Interview with Elizabeth Dulemba

A 2019 interview with Elizabeth Dulemba on the inspirations and process behind making Finding Narnia. See more sketches, process photos, and images from my research trip to Oxford and Northern Ireland.