While on holiday in 1925, four-year-old Michael Tolkien lost his beloved toy dog on the beach at Filey in Yorkshire. 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 is a really sweet tale about a bewitched dog, and was written by Tolkien long before he wrote The Hobbit.
Rover is transformed into a toy dog after he disrespects a wizard, and this story is about him being forced to seek out the wizard so that he can be turned back into his proper form.
Tolkien writes with his trademark wit, imagery and long, flowing sentences. He uses fantastical elements to give personality to objects and characters that otherwise wouldn’t have a personality. Tolkien gives such detailed description of the world and the adventure that it’s easy for the reader to imagine it.
This book is quite witty and humorous, and has a light-hearted writing style as seen in The Hobbit. All of the characters introduced were likeable, and there is a lot of similarities between the wizards in this story and Gandalf in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Even though this story is short, it does tend to drag a bit. I read it in one sitting, but for a young child or for someone reading it to a young child, I’d imagine you’d need to break up the story over a couple of different readings sessions. The edition I had was only 150 or so pages, so it’s quick to read and great for children and adults. It would be great for an adult to read to their child – the story has such bold, individual characters that radiate from the page. This is a light fantasy story aimed for children, but adults who have read Tolkien’s other works will enjoy it as well.
My Score: 6/10