This is part of a series (typically it’s weekly) exploring quotations attributed to C.S. Lewis that are questionable for one reason or another. There is an “at a glance” page HERE to quickly see what has been posted so far in this series. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to read the INTRODUCTION to this series.
“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
If you are like me, then you’re probably scratching your head and thinking you read this statement in one of the essays that Lewis wrote. If this was your thought, then you’re almost right! That is, while the writings of C.S. Lewis doesn’t have this expression it does have something like it. So, what we have above is someone’s paraphrase of a statement he wrote. What he actually said is this:
“I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children’s story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children’s story.”
This correct quotation is found in an essay entitled “On Three Ways of Writing for Children.” It is best found in the book On Stories, a collection of shorter works from Lewis that is a must read for all fans.
The next quote examined is: