19 NOVEMBER 1954, Page 68

The Horse and His Boy. By C. S. Lewis. (Geoffrey

Bles. 10s. 6d.) The Horse and His Boy. By C. S. Lewis. (Geoffrey Bles. 10s. 6d.) IT would be a mistake to talk of Hans Ander- sen or Lewis Carroll, but Mr. C. S. Lewis's book for children certainly has sufficient fantasy and lightness of touch to deserve very high praise indeed. The adventures of the boy Shasta and the talking horse, Bree, escaping from the despotic and miserable country of the south, Calormen, to the free and friendly Narnia in the north, past lions, through a desert, among centaurs, bears, talking dogs, giants,. dwarfs, all this is handled with admirable skill and sensibility. What is particularly telling is that the tone of the book is always so exactly right. Mr. Lewis never talks down and when he coin- meats the comment is never overdone:' ... in Calormen story-telling . . . is a thing you're taught, just as English boys and girls are taught essay-writing. The difference is that people want to hear stories, whereas I never heard of anyone who wanted to read essays.' That would surely register with any child.