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Date [ 2013-06-12, 14:25 ]

A search for a dog turns magical.

 

 

(Kuala Lumpur =koreanpress) By Ramani Rathir = When a child loses a toy, let alone a favourite toy, expect a flood of tears and a voice choked in pain. Most parents would try to pacify the child by carrying it around or getting a replacement at best. Almost no one will have the skills to create a story from such a sad loss. But not if you are J. R. R. Tolkien, the creator of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.

 

 

It happened when the Tolkien family went on a vacation in 1925. The author’s

 

four year old son, Michael, lost a small toy dog made of lead. A desperate search was made on the beach but the dog was never found. Michael was inconsolable and in tears most of the time. So Tolkien created Rover, a dog who was turned into a toy by a wicked wizard.


Thus began a tale of Rover’s desperate search to return to his original state. Of course the dog’s many adventures made entertaining bedtime stories for Michael and his siblings. Reason - though Tolkien wanted to publish the book after The Hobbit’s success, his publisher preferred a sequel. So it did not hit the printing press, even though it had Tolkien’s own illustrations,

 

Thankfully for readers of good stories and especially fans of Tolkien, the book was finally published posthumously. It has been written in a much more simple language than The Lord of the Rings. This has made Roverandom more accessible to younger readers. It however has been able to maintain the wildly imaginative places and strange, weird creatures that are a staple of Tolkien’s stories.

Teachers, especially those who have the young under their charge, will be happy to know a few passages have been upgraded with challenging vocabulary and references to mythology that we all too familiar with.  

So get the book and go search for Rover with your child! abc@koreanpress.net

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