Those who know me, know that I love children’s books. I’m a huge advocate for the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and I also a fan of the classic children’s stories such as Mary Poppins, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Black Beauty. So when I heard that J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was going to become three major motion pictures within the next three years, I was totally stoked.
Most people who have read J.R.R. Tolkien have read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. This mystifying, adventurous story of a group of misfits come together in order to destroy the Ring of Power and save their people from ultimate destruction is truly epic. It literally took me an entire year to read all three books through and I cheated a little by skipping some of the songs and poems.
In contrast is the prequel, The Hobbit. This is a children’s story and takes a more whimsical approach to Middle Earth and its inhabitants. The story line is pretty simple. Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit of The Shire is solicited by his wizard friend Gandalf to join a group of dwarfs who are setting out to steel their treasure back from a dragon named Smaug. Along the way, this group of unlikely companions encounters many adventures including escaping the custody of three trolls, being stalked by a giant spider, facing off with a dragon and meeting the creature called Gollum. Bilbo ends up defeating the dragon and out-smarting Gollum in the end and going away with the one thing that Gollum treasures most, the Ring of Power or his “Precious.”
This is an excellent book for ages 10 and up. (I’m over 30 and still read it from time to time.) There are some lessons of tolerance, wit, self-confidence and companionship that are presented in the story and it should be a good read for boys – something I always appreciated with the Harry Potter Series.
Now all we can do is wait for the movie to come out, which will not be for children. I believe it’s going to be rated PG-13 and therefore you’ll need to make your own decision if your kid is mature enough to view the violent scenes of the movie. I am having a hard time wrapping the fact that this short story is going to be produced in three parts. We’ll have to respect director Peter Jackson’s decision that this was the best way to present the piece to a film audience. I’m expecting it will clean up at the box offices come December 14th.
Are you looking forward to the film version of this classic children’s story?