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Roverandom Paperback – 2 Sep 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Paperback, 2 Sep 2002
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (2 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007149115
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007149117
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 777,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘This is an old-fashioned story, yet it still speaks freshly today… would leap to life when read aloud to a child’
Independent

‘Lord of the Rings buffs will enjoy picking out bits of Nordic mythology and will relish Tolkien’s fabulous sense of landscape’
The Times

From the Back Cover

A classic children's story by the author of
THE HOBBIT

'Rover should never have bitten the magician's trousers. His punishment was to be transformed into a toy, and now he is forced to track down the magician so he can be returned to normal. His adventures will take him to the moon and under the sea, introducing him to many fabulous – and dangerous – creatures.'

Inspired by the loss of his own child's favourite toy, this charming tale was written by J.R.R. Tolkien long before 'The Hobbit', yet remained unpublished for more than 70 years. This new paperback edition includes a full introduction and detailed notes about the story.

"This is an old-fashioned story, yet it still speaks freshly today…would leap to life when read aloud to a child."
'Independent'

"'Lord of the Rings' buffs will enjoy picking out bits of Nordic mythology and will relish Tolkien's fabulous sense of landscape."
'The Times'

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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 you a sense of belonging. For instance, he'd mention the names of the flowers on the moon, as if it were nothing and as if they were common knowledge. Fairbells, tinklebells, ringaroses, pennywhistles, tintrumpets, feathergrasses, fairy-fiddlestrings, etc... Roverandom was short and extremely fast-pace. Tolkien consumed big slices of time like homemade bread. He would say, "Rover and the Sea-dog had many more adventures under the ocean, but we can save those for another time." It left a lot of room for your imagination to run wild. Strangely, it was very entertaining. When Rover is under the ocean and causes the sea serpent to awaken on accident, his shy little attitude makes you sad for him. But, of course, good books are the ones that make you feel something. They are the ones that make you feel like you're the main character without ever having been in their position.
This little novel is about a little dog that goes on many strange and magical adventures. It starts off with Rover biting Artaxerxes's trousers. Artaxerxes is an old grumpy wizard who just happened to be strolling by, and some say it wasn't coincidence. The old wizard become furious with Rover and turns him into a miniature toy puppy. Rover goes through many bizarre complications trying to get back to his original form. The entire journey not only turns out to be a lesson for Artaxerxes and his anger-control, but for Rover as well.
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Format: Hardcover
In the summer of 1925, J.R.R. Tolkien took his family on a vacation to the east coast of Yorkshire. At the time, his children were John, 7; Michael, 4; and Christopher, a baby. Tolkien was due to start his new position at Oxford in October, although for a time he would continue his teaching duties at the University of Leeds in addition to teaching at Oxford.

On of Michael’s favorite toys was a small lead dog painted black and white. One day during a walk on the beach, he set the toy down – and couldn’t find it again. For two days Tolkien, John, and Michael searched for the toy, but it was lost. Michael was heartbroken.

To ease his son’s grief, Tolkien began to tell stories about what happened to the toy. Over time installments and new adventures were added. In 1937, when “The Hobbit” had become a major publishing success, Tolkien edited the stories into a manuscript, which was never published. Now it has been, under the title of “Roverandom,” the name Tolkien gave to the toy dog. The story has been edited by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond and includes an informative introduction.

If you’ve read Tolkien’s “Letters from Father Christmas,” you’ll know the style of “Roverandom.” It is a story meant for children, full of the dog’s adventures on the beach, on the moon, and even under the sea. Roverandom is on a quest to remove a curse put on him by a wizard, and the quest takes him to varied places with wildly imaginative characters (including a dragon who predates Smaug in “The Hobbit”).

It’s a great read-aloud story for children.
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By E. A. Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2006
Format: Paperback
For a little kid, losing a favorite toy is downright traumatic. So in 1925, when four-year-old Michael lost his little toy dog on the beach, fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien made up a story to comfort his son. It explained away the loss of the toy, and wove a magical story around a little dog named Rover.

Rover is an ordinary little puppy near the seaside in England, until he runs into a grumpy old man and ends up biting off part of his pants. The old man happens to be a wizard (Artaxerxes by name), and promptly transforms Rover into a toy dog (and no, I don't mean a tiny dog -- I mean a real toy). Rover subsequently gets picked up and sold to some little boys (presumably the Tolkien kids).

Fortunately, Rover encounters another magical being, a crusty, kindly sand-wizard named Psamathos. That wizard, in turn, gets Rover (who is renamed Roverandom) flown to the moon, where he spends time with the Man in the Moon and his winged dog Rover. And then he's heading off to encounter a talking whale, a mer-dog, a sea serpent -- and a dragon.

Like the vastly underrated "Farmer Giles of Ham," "Roverandom" is a charming little bit of whimsy. No deep themes, no epic clashes, not even really a villain. The writing is charming and magical, with phrases like "There was a cold wind blowing off the North Star" sprinkled through it. It almost gives the feeling of being in another world. Best of all, in the middle of the book are Tolkien's own illustrations, cute little drawings and ethereal paintings.

Rover is well-named, since his adventures are all over the map and don't really progress from one to the other. It's merely a cute little dog roaming over the moon, the ocean, and the land, conversing with shrimps and bothering wizards. He's an outspoken little guy, but likeable.
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