14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roverandom - Not Niddle Earth???
Reading Roverandom, by J.R.R. Tolkien, was like opening a dusty box of childhood memories left under my bed. It has a sort of playful side to it. When Rover was journeying to the moon on the back of a seagull named Mew, and almost traveled an actual road in the sky to get there. Tolkien dragged you into the plot by drawing you in as a part of his outrageous world, giving...
Published on 24 Jan 2004 by N. M. D. Lancaster
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice little children's story -- but Tolkien's done better!, February 7, 2001
Granted, this is a book written for Tolkien's children, and it does contain some nice little word-play elements -- but lets face it: This is not a literary masterpiece -- but niether is it trash either. With Tolkien's children's fiction, with the exception of THE HOBBIT, its not so much the quality of it but the fact that it exists. These activities culiminated in the...
Published on 10 Sep 2012 by Mike London
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4.0 out of 5 stars charming,
Read this the day it arrived and simply couldn't put it down! I'm now buying a copy for all of my nieces and nephews! It's an amazing book written in a very quaint style of writing that really shows Tolkiens paternal side. Its story line is beautiful and at times links to his other writings. A must read both for fans of Tolkien and those who've run out of bed time storys to read!
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dog on the Moon,
In 1925, Mr Tolkien, Mrs Tolkien and their three sons went on holiday to Filey. While on this trip, Michael, the middle son, lost his favorite toy dog. This was the basis for the story Roverandom, explaining what happened to the lost toy.
In the story, Rover begins as a real dog and a wizard turns him into a toy because Rover did not say "please." The toy Rover is sold for sixpence in a store and he decides he will run away from the family that bought him. He discovers he can only move at night. While the boys are asleep, he runs around the house looking for a way out, but he can't find one. One day, little boy Two puts Rover in his pocket when he goes to the beach. While the little boy is running, Rover manages to wiggle out of the pocket. Little boy Two and his father and brother search for the toy, but cannot find it.
Now that Rover has run away, he goes on an unexpected trip. A different wizard on the beach changes toy Rover back into a real dog. Mew the seagull picks him up and flies him to the moon!
On the moon, Rover meets the Man-in-the-Moon who gives him wings and the new name of Roverandom. Why? Because he already has a dog named Rover and he can't have two dogs with the same name! So, Roverandom and Moon-dog have a grand adventure on the moon.
An amusing little tale from a master of fantasy. Easy to read and enjoyable for any age.
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem,
Believe this should be a child's book but I picked it up and couldn't put it down - just brilliant. Took me back to the days of imaginations. Perfect for any age and highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Magical Story,
So wonderful that this exciting book has been re-published. It is one of my most treasured books one that I read time and time again. The illustrations add to the story greatly. A real heart-warming and funny family story to share year after year after year. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars J. R. R. Tolkien - more you ...,
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This review is from: Roverandom (Kindle Edition)
J.R.R. Tolkien - more you don't need to say - really!!!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A charming tale about a dog turned into a toy,
A charming tale about young dog Rover and his adventures. He bites the trousers of magician Artaxerxes who turns him into a toy dog as punnishment. He shrinks in size as does his bark and he is stuck in a begging position. He is bought by a mother to give to her son Two, but he falls out of his pocket on day on the beach. The sand wizard Psamathos gets super fast seagul Mew to fly him to the moon down the silver pathway it's light leaves to meet the Man-on-the-Moon (another magician) and his moon dog Rover. As the dogs share their name, they change Rover's (the main character) to Roverandom.
On the moon they have many adventures together as Roverandom is given wings to fly about with. They have problems with the fearsome White Dragon who lives on the moon and causes eclipses of the moon as well as sometimes turning it red. Eventually Roverandom is sent back to earth to see Artaxerxes to change him back to his regular dog form. Artaxerxes has married a mer-maiden (one of the mer-kings daughters) and is living under the sea. Whale Uin takes Roverandom under the sea in his belly where he meets another dog called Rover, this time a mer-dog. They have many more adventures under the sea waiting for Artaxeres to find the time to change Roverandom back including an incident with the giant sea-serpent who sleeps not far from the mer-kings castle. Roverandom is eventually changed back into a proper dog and travels home to find Two.
This was a lovely tale based on an incident when Tolkien's second son lost his favourite toy dog at the beach one day on a family holiday. Lots of parallels to The Hobbit can be seen (the dragon, the spiders on the moon and the three magicians have Gandalf like qualities) and I definitely recommend it as a bit of light fun and happy reading.
10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Return of the Old Prof,
Up until relatively recently, Roverandom existed in the minds of Tolkien fans as a mysterious open secret: an unpublished work. For a man whose notes to the milkman and getting-the-pen-to-work scribbles on the inside cover of the Yellow Pages were trumpeted by publishers and family alike as 'masterpieces', this was remarkable. Look the old professor up on Amazon and it's not long before the list of works begins to look significantly desperate (Tales from the Perilous Realm, Finn and Hengest: The Fragment and the Episode, Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth, etc.). Did he mean for all this stuff to be plundered for public consumption? So, finding a complete and illustrated work that hasn't seen the light of day in almost 70 years is odd to say the least. The five illustrations were seen in a couple of academic books, and also at the Bodleian Library's centenary exhibition, but the text was unknown until 1997/1998.
The story is based upon an incident that occurred when the Tolkiens were on holiday in the Yorkshire seaside town of Filey, in 1925. Tolkien's four-year-old son lost a small toy dog and became distraught. To console him, his father created a story about a real dog that is magically transformed into a toy and is forced to seek out the wizard who wronged him to be returned to normal. In the course of his search he goes to the Moon and the bottom of the sea and being a mischievous little tyke, gets up to all sorts of adventures. Much like The Hobbit, there are wizards and dragons and huge flesh eating spiders, told here in the singy-songy voice of a good-humoured children's tale. But unlike The Lord of the Rings, this time there is none of the thunder and bombast of, for instance:
"...for answer Gandalf cried aloud to his horse. 'On Shadowfax! We must hasten. Time is short. See! The beacons of Gondor are alight, calling for aid. War is kindled. See, there is the fire on Amon Dīn, and flame on Eilenach; and there they go speeding west: Nardol, Erelas, Min-Rimmon, Calenhad and the Halifirien on the borders of Rohan...'
Instead, we get:
"Once upon a time there was a little dog, and his name was Rover. He was very small, and very young, or he would have known better; and he was very happy playing in the garden in the sunshine with a yellow ball, or he would never have done what he did."
Which, frankly, is much better.
Tolkien was only in his early thirties when the first draft was written, and it's full of the sort of easy jokes and casual references a well-read young academic might throw in for his little boy's amusement. Old Mother Hubbard's dog has a walk on part, there's a gentle and affectionate explanation of what happens when we dream, there are sly nods towards his work at Oxford, carrots dangled perhaps to entice his youngsters into enjoying the things he himself loved? Well, possibly.
What we have ultimately is a slight tale - it's only 80 pages long - clearly created for reading aloud at bedtime for young children eager to believe that their toys can become animated and exciting (it'll come as no surprise that Rover can only become 'alive' at night when his owner is asleep) if they allow their imaginations to run riot. And that can't be a bad thing. I also can't find the phrase 'a fairy tale for all ages' in the notes or press blurbs and that's surely a boon. More importantly, it happens to be a handy stopgap when you leave your grown-up book on the bus.
So will I be reading any more JRRT? Has this fired me up to try LotR again after a twenty-year break? Amon Dīn, Eilenach, Nardol, Erelas, Min-Rimmon, Calenhad and the Halifirien?! What do you think?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tolkein for kids,
Roverandum is a strange book written more for the Tolkein children than the world at large. It includes elements of the fun world of his Father Christmas letters with other family favourites such as E Nesbitt's Psammead (from Five Children and It (Wordsworth Children's Classics)), the Man in the Moon (something of a Tolkein favourite theme) and most importantly a lost toy dog.
The result is charming, entertaining and readable but not as much fun as Farmer Giles of Ham or even the more serious Smith of Wooten Major
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Endearing little story,
This review is from: Roverandom (Hardcover)
This is a very endearing little story in which a dog is transformed into a toy by a wizard who could not tolerate being bitten in his backside. The dog then goes on a journey to the moon and the depth of the sea.
I liked this a lot but do not be disappointed for it is not as comprehensive as Tolkien's other writings; after all, he came up with this story, apparently, to comfort his son who had lost a toy dog on the beach.
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Roverandom by Christina Scull (Hardcover - 5 Jan 1998)
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