Roverandom

( 5 )

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 ...

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Roverandom

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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.

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

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).
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
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: 6/28/1999
  • Edition description: None
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 480,168
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.31 (d)

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.

Biography

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.

His mother died when he was only twelve and both he and his brother were made wards of the local priest and sent to King Edward's School, Birmingham, where Tolkien shine in his classical work. After completing a First in English Language and Literature at Oxford, Tolkien married Edith Bratt. He was also commissioned in the Lancashire Fusiliers and fought in the battle of the Somme. After the war, he obtained a post on the New English Dictionary and began to write the mythological and legendary cycle which he originally called "The Book of Lost Tales" but which eventually became known as The Silmarillion.

In 1920 Tolkien was appointed Reader in English Language at the University of Leeds which was the beginning of a distinguished academic career culminating with his election as Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford. Meanwhile Tolkien wrote for his children and told them the story of The Hobbit. It was his publisher, Stanley Unwin, who asked for a sequel to The Hobbit and gradually Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings, a huge story that took twelve years to complete and which was not published until Tolkien was approaching retirement. After retirement Tolkien and his wife lived near Oxford, but then moved to Bournemouth. Tolkien returned to Oxford after his wife's death in 1971. He died on 2 September 1973 leaving The Silmarillion to be edited for publication by his son, Christopher.

Author biography courtesy of HarperCollins (UK).

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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

Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Roverandom 3
Notes 91
Illustrations
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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