My rating = 4 stars
This is a book I've been reading to my kids for the last several weeks. They were eager to start reading it after we rented the movie one night. They all liked the book very much, and even though it is different from the movie in many instances, they still found it very enjoyable in its own right.
This book continues the story of Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, who are staying with an aunt and uncle while the rest of their family takes a trip to America. Their cousin Eustace despises them and their stories of Narnia. One afternoon Eustace finds himself drawn with his cousins into a painting in Lucy's bedroom, and they are all whisked off to Narnia for an adventurous sea voyage.
I don't think I have ever met a more offensive and whining character than Eustace. I find it so funny that Lewis named the character Eustace, because Useless Eustace describes him perfectly at the beginning of the book. Happily, Eustace goes through some miraculous transformations, physically and socially, during the children's adventures, and ends up to be a very useful boy at the end.
Reepicheep, the courageous mouse, also makes this book quite memorable. He is always daring the crew of the Dawn Treader to keep sailing forward, and never seems to know the meaning of the words doubt and fear. Just like Lucy, I want to pick him up and just hug the stuffing out of him, but that would be quite disrespectful behavior towards such a gallant knight!