Tolkien’s Roverandom

Roverandom, J. R. R. Tolkien
(Houghton Mifflin, 1998), hb.., 106 pp.
[various editions available]
Ages 7+

This is a fun story to share with your children. It is not a grand epic like Lord of the Rings but a light-hearted story Tolkien spun for his own children. The introduction in this edition is nice because it explains the setting from which this story arose. One of Tolkien’s sons lost a beloved toy dog and to help comfort him Tolkien began telling a story of a real dog who had been turned into a toy by a spell, was found by a boy and then was lost by the boy and went on adventures to the moon, the bottom of the ocean and elsewhere. It is fanciful and fun.

One of the most endearing parts of this story to me was the opportunity to see Tolkien, the father, in action. This story was not originally prepared for publication. Rather it was simply a story told to entertain and comfort his children. You can see Tolkien’s own delight in playing with words, his fascinations with old tales, his wit, critiques of issues in his day and his love for his children.

My boys enjoyed the story with me, and we commend it to you. Perhaps it will encourage you to make up stories for your family as well!

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