The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the current read-aloud here at home, and the 8 year old and I like it quite a bit. I'd not read it as a kid, and though I find a few parts over the top, Junior does not. It's a longer book than he would tackle on his own; when he reads a chapter book, he prefers Goosebumps and other thinner novels. But he's perfectly happy to hear C.S. Lewis's classic at bedtime, and always wants to keep going and find out what happens next.
For those who don't know the book—which Lewis called a "fairy tale"—it takes place during the the early years of the Second World War. During the bombing of London, four children are spending the summer away from their parents, in a big house in the country. They enter a magical, if troubled, kingdom through a wardrobe closet in a spare room. Good and evil forces are struggling for the control of the kingdom, which is called Narnia, and the four siblings are pulled into the fray immediately. My son certainly does not pick up on all the Christian overtones that an adult would.
The inhabitants of the troubled realm await the return of Aslan, a lion and the head of the good side, and that's the tie-in to Poetry Friday. Some beavers tell the children of an old rhyme popular in Narnia:
Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.
Picture-book lovers should take a look at Hiawyn Oram's adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which features beautiful illustrations by Tudor Humphries.