Roverandom

Roverandom

4.2 6
by J. R. R. Tolkien
     
 

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In 1925, 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…  See more details below

Overview


In 1925, 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, endured several drafts over the years. Now, more than seventy years later, the adventures of Rover are 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.

Editorial Reviews

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
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).
Horn
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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395957998
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
06/28/1999
Edition description:
None
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
284,645
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
8 - 10 Years

What People are saying about this

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

Meet the Author

J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892–1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

WAYNE G. HAMMOND is a leading expert on Tolkien and coauthor of the acclaimed The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide with Christina Scull.

CHRISTINA SCULL is a leading expert on Tolkien and coauthor of the acclaimed The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide with Wayne G. Hammond.

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Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
January 3, 1892
Date of Death:
September 2, 1973
Place of Birth:
Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (South Africa)
Place of Death:
Oxford, England
Education:
B.A., Exeter College, Oxford University, 1915; M.A., 1919

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Roverandom 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
DarthTyranus More than 1 year ago
they should make roverandom into a movie that would be awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Jason_A_Greer 12 months ago
Roverandom, a delightful tale created by Tolkien as a result of his young son losing a dog toy on a beach holiday in the mid 1920's, is a fun and at times fantastical story. This slightly less than a 100 page story works best told orally because of the great alliterative word choices and vivid pictures told with clear language that is not flowery. There are elements that are familiar to other Tolkien stories: an irritable yet not bad wizard, a land over the sea, but Roverandom is a story on its own. This tale of a dog who travels to the moon and under the sea, in the hope to become real, does not really follow many modern writing conventions, which makes how the author tells his story refreshing. Tolkien greatly respects young readers by his word choices, and he does not talk down to readers. He has woven a simple tale in a complex way that exceeds many adult stories. As a story for Tolkien enthusiasts, Roverandom shows the playful side that exists in short flashes in darker moments in his Middle Earth tales. And as a standalone story, this makes for a throughly modern tale, grounded in much older tales, that exists better orally, as many ancient tales do. Highly recommended.
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