Roverandom [NOOK Book]


In 1923, four-year-old Michael Tolkien lost his beloved toy dog on the beach. To console him, his father, J.R.R. Tolkien, improvised a story about Rover, a real dog who is magically transformed into a toy and is forced to seek out the wizard who wronged him in order to be returned to normal. This charming tale, peopled by a sand-sorcerer and a terrible dragon, by the king of the sea and the Man in the Moon, went through several drafts over the years. Now, more than seventy years later, the adventures of Rover ...
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In 1923, four-year-old Michael Tolkien lost his beloved toy dog on the beach. To console him, his father, J.R.R. Tolkien, improvised a story about Rover, a real dog who is magically transformed into a toy and is forced to seek out the wizard who wronged him in order to be returned to normal. This charming tale, peopled by a sand-sorcerer and a terrible dragon, by the king of the sea and the Man in the Moon, went through several drafts over the years. Now, more than seventy years later, the adventures of Rover have been published for the first time. Rich in wit and wordplay, Roverandom is edited and introduced by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond and illustrated with Tolkien's own delightful drawings.

A dog who has been turned into a toy dog encounters rival wizards and experiences various adventures on the moon with giant spiders, dragon moths, and the Great White Dragon.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
There's still no one quite like Tolkien, and this utterly charming tale will please readers of all ages.
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
It's very difficult to "review" this book. Written in 1927, its style is so different from modern books for teens and younger children that I can't imagine who will read it. Of course, fans of Tolkien's epic Lord of the Rings trilogy (and I am one) will look it over, and they'll decide on their own. The parents among them may decide to read it to their children, since it was originally told aloud to Tolkien's own. The notes at the end are interesting; they tell a lot about England at that time-between the two World Wars. For "all ages," each of which will be aware of the many different levels of the book.
VOYA - Jennifer Fakolt
Once upon a time, while on holiday on the Yorkshire coast, J. R. R. Tolkien's young son Michael lost his beloved miniature toy dog. This real incident forms the basis of Roverandom, Tolkien's fanciful tale of the adventures of a young dog who is turned into a tiny toy after being foolishly impolite to the passing wizard, Ataxerxes. Purchased for a small boy, Roverandom falls out of the child's pocket at the seashore. There he meets Psamathos, a sand sorcerer who restores Roverandom's vitality, but cannot return his proper size. Roverandom's travels take him to the moon, where he meets the Man-in-the-Moon, makes friends with the moon dog, has a brush with the great White Dragon, and plays with dreaming children on the moon's dark side. Lonely for his little boy owner, Roverandom decides to find Ataxerxes and beg his pardon. The wizard, however, having recently married a mermaid, now resides at the bottom of the sea. Transported there by whale, Roverandom has parallel encounters meeting merfolk and a webfooted merdog. All comes out right in the end, and Roverandom is reunited with his little boy. Roverandom is a pleasant, cozy fairy story that will be welcomed by Tolkien fans, who will relish its trademark engaging and imaginative style. The tale includes prints of Tolkien's own illustrations, and is packed with allusions to mythology and British legend, as well as to other Tolkien works. While the story can be enjoyed on many levels, general young adult readers will find Roverandom less appealing, as the plotline is aimed for a much younger audience. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8).
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Begun in 1925, this fantasy was roughly finished later, but set aside in favor of sequels to The Hobbit. Here, at last, two Tolkien scholars present it, with five illustrations by the author sandwiched between a long, minutely detailed introduction and padded but sometimes illuminating endnotes. Changed from a live dog into a toy after incautiously biting a wizard, Rover is dropped on the beach by his young owner, where he meets a second wizard who sends him on a gull's back to the Man-in-the-Moon. Sporting wings and a new name, "Roverandom" irritates the Great White Dragon that causes lunar eclipses and visits a valley where sleeping children gather for pleasant dreams, among other places, then returns to Earth to beg the first wizard, a bumbling sort who has since married a mermaid and moved under the ocean, to make him a real dog again. Despite a wandering plot and minor inconsistencies, the old Tolkien magic is here in full force: in evocative names, glimpses of supernal events, and wonderfully exotic locales seen through the eyes of a comfortably familiar character. Enthusiasts will pore over the notes, but the story stands well enough on its own as an incidental piece from one of our century's great literary imaginations.-John Peters, New York Public Library
In 1925, Professor Tolkien and his family went for a seaside holiday in Yorkshire, where little boy Two (Michael Tolkien) was given a toy dog which he treasured but subsequently lost on the beach. His father wrote Roverandom to console him. Now published with a thoughtful introduction and extensive notes by two Tolkien scholars, the story tells of the puppy Rover, who unwittingly bites a hole in the pants of an irritable wizard, Artaxerxes. He is turned into a toy, lost on the beach, and sent to the moon by a sand wizard, Psamathos Psamathides (obviously a relative of Nesbit's Psammead). He flies on the back of Mew, a great gull, and is welcomed by the Man-in-the-Moon and his dog, Rover. Renamed Roverandom by the Man-in-the-Moon, to avoid confusion, and given wings, he has many adventures with the moon dog, Rover. He has further adventures under the sea with a sea dog, also Rover, before being turned back into a real dog and returning to little boy Two. The story as a whole is only modestly entertaining, with a rambling and unconnected plot. It reads like exactly what it is-the written form of an improvised story for children, never really polished or carefully edited. But readers familiar with Tolkien will find many passages and characters that will put them in mind of his more famous works, especially The Hobbit. The three wizards all show some resemblance to Gandalf; there are dragons, sly and dangerous, and spiders that weave sticky webs to catch errant moonbeams and anything else that comes their way; and there are puns and allusions galore. A handful of illustrations, also by Tolkien, depict the familiar lonely mountains and fantasy landscapes of his other creations. Tolkien fans will appreciate this opportunity for examining this early fantasy work and the subtle forerunners of characters and themes found in his later great works.
Kirkus Reviews
In 1925, the Tolkien family took a vacation at the beach, where four-year-old Michael lost his favorite object, a tiny toy dog. So to console him, father J.R.R. improvised the tale of a dog magically transformed into a toy. The story was rejected by Tolkien's publisher in 1937 and has lain neglected ever since. With good reason. It tells of young and impolite puppy Rover, who bites the wizard Artaxerxes's trousers; as a punishment, the wizard transforms him into a toy. Deposited in a toyshop, Rover is bought by a boy named Two, who loses the dog on a beach; but soon Rover meets Psamathos the sand-sorcerer. Psamathos sends Rover off on the back of Mew the gull to visit the Man-in-the-Moon. But the Man-in- the-Moon already has a moon-dog named Rover, so our Rover becomes Roverandom. Yessir, this is real edge-of-the-seat stuff. After various cutesy doings, Roverandom learns that Artaxerxes has taken a job under the sea, so he rides inside Uin the Right Whale to plead with Artaxerxes to change him back into a real dog. Which, after more fluffy bits—yes, there's a mer-dog named Rover—the wizard does, and Roverandom returns to Two. Even for Tolkien scholars, these are awfully thin bones to pick over.
From the Publisher
"There's still no one quite like Tolkien, and this utterly charming tale will please readers of all ages." School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780007378104
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/26/2013
  • Sold by: Harper Collins UK
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: ePub edition
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 219,686
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January, 1892 at Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, but at the age of four he and his brother were taken back to England by their mother. After his father’s death the family moved to Sarehole, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Tolkien spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures.

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    1. Also Known As:
      John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 3, 1892
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (South Africa)
    1. Date of Death:
      September 2, 1973
    2. Place of Death:
      Oxford, England

Read an Excerpt

"Dieser Platz ist kuschelig und warm", sagte der Mondhund, schloß die Augen und nickte fast auf der Stelle ein.
"Au!" jaulte er kurz danach, nach Hundeart jäh aus einem behaglichen Traum aufwachend. "Viel zu warm!"
Er sprang auf. Er konnte den kleinen Roverandom weiter im Inneren der Höhle bellen hören, und als er hinlief, um zu sehen, was los war, erblickte er ein Rinnsal aus Feuer, das über den Boden auf sie zukroch. In diesem Augenblick bekam er nicht gerade Heimweh nach rotglühenden Öfen; und er packte den kleinen Roverandom im Genick, schoß wie ein Blitz aus der Höhle und flog auf einen nicht weit entfernten Steingipfel.

Dort saßen die beiden im Schnee, zitternd und glotzend; das war sehr töricht von ihnen. Sie hätten nach Hause oder irgendwo anders hinfliegen sollen, schneller als der Wind. Der Mondhund wußte nichts über den Mond, wie ihr seht, sonst hätte er gewußt, daß dies das Lager des Großen Weißen Drachen war - des Drachen, der nur ein wenig Angst vor dem Mann hatte (und so gut wie keine, wenn er wütend war). Der Mann selber fühlte sich durch diesen Drachen ein wenig belästigt. "Dieses verflixte Vieh", nannte er ihn, wenn er überhaupt über ihn sprach.

Alle weißen Drachen kommen ursprünglich vom Mond, wie ihr wahrscheinlich wißt; doch dieser war auf der Welt gewesen und zurückgekommen, hatte also das eine oder andere gelernt. Zu Merlins Zeiten kämpfte er mit dem Roten Drachen in Caerdragon, wie ihr in allen moderneren Geschichtsbüchern nachlesen könnt; danach war der andere Drache sehr rot. Später richtete er eine Menge weiterer Verwüstungen auf den Drei Inseln an und ließ sich eine Zeitlang auf dem Gipfel des Snowdon nieder. Die Leute machten sich nicht die Mühe, hinaufzusteigen, solange er dort war - bis auf einen Mann, und der Drache überraschte ihn, als er aus einer Flasche trank. Der Mann hört so hastig zu trinken auf, daß er die Flasche auf dem Gipfel zurückließ, und diesem Beispiel sind seitdem viele Leute gefolgt. Das ist lange her und begann erst, als der Drache nach Gwynfa geflogen war, einige Zeit nach König Arthurs Verschwinden, zu einer Zeit, als Drachenschwänze von den sächsischen Königen als große Delikatesse geschätzt wurden.

Gwynfa ist nicht weit vom Rand der Welt entfernt, und es ist für einen Drachen, der so riesig und maßlos böse ist wie dieser, eine Leichtigkeit, von dort zum Mond zu fliegen. Jetzt lebte er am Rand des Mondes; denn er war sich nicht ganz sicher, was der Mond im Mond mit seinen Zaubersprüchen und Listen anrichten konnte. Trotzdem wagte er es von Zeit zu Zeit, sich in die Farbenskala einzumischen. Manchmal ließ er echte rote und grüne Flammen aus seiner Höhle schlagen, wenn er ein Drachenfest beging oder einen Wutanfall hatte; und häufig gab es Rauchwolken. Es war bekannt, daß er einmal oder zweimal den ganzen Mond in Rot getaucht oder ihn gänzlich verdunkelt hatte. Bei solchen unangenehmen Ereignissen schloß der Mann im Mond sich (und seinen Hund) ein, und er sagte nur: "Wieder dieses verflixte Vieh." Er erklärte nie, welches Vieh er meinte oder wo es lebte; er ging einfach in den Keller, ließ seine besten Zaubersprüche los und brachte die Dinge so rasch wie möglich wieder ins reine.

Jetzt wißt ihr alles über den Drachen; und hätten die Hunde halb so viel gewußt, wären sie nie dort untergeschlüpft. Aber sie taten es, zumindest so lange, wie ich gebraucht habe, euch über den Weißen Drachen aufzuklären, und zu dieser Zeit war er in voller Größe, weiß und grünäugig, aus seiner Höhle gekommen, stieß aus allen Nähten grünes Feuer aus und schnaubte schwarzen Rauch wie ein Dampfer. Darauf gab er das entsetzlichste Gebrüll von sich. Die Berge schwankten und widerhallten, und der Schnee trocknete ein; Lawinen donnerten nieder, und Wasserfälle standen still.
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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Roverandom 3
Notes 91
House Where 'Rover' Began His Adventures as a 'Toy'
Rover Arrives on the Moon
The White Dragon Pursues Roverandom & the Moondog
Lunar Landscape
The Gardens of the Merking's Palace
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    awesome from begining to end

    they should make roverandom into a movie that would be awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2002

    Oh it was great

    Read this book. I was inspired by his motivation for writing it, and so I picked it up two years ago or so and spent an entire afternoon reading it in one sitting. It's a good children's book. Imaginative and fun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2000

    Wonderfully cute!!

    I ran across this book in the library and when I read about the sweet story behind it's making ((of how Tolkien wrote it for his son whom had lost his toy dog)) I immediatly grabbed it and read it the next day. I love it! it's so cute and so simple and it explores every childs wonders about life and dreams and were lost dogs go to live and things such. I LOVED it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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