Every parent knows how difficult it can be to console a child who has lost a favorite toy.  Few, however, have the skill to write a story that does the trick. While the Tolkien family vacationed in 1925, four-year-old Michael lost a small dog made of lead at the beach.  Despite an extensive search, the toy was never found, so Tolkien created a story about Rover, a dog turned into a toy by a vengeful wizard.

The tale of Rover’s desperate journey to return to his original state entertained the Tolkien children immensely. Tolkien hoped to publish this book after The Hobbit’s success, but his publisher preferred a sequel. Fortunately this story, with Tolkien’s own illustrations, was published posthumously. Written in much simpler language than The Lord of the Rings, Roverandom is accessible to a younger audience, but maintains the imaginative places and extraordinary creatures that readers have come to expect from this literary giant. Parents and educators will be delighted to find a smattering of challenging vocabulary and references to mythology that will stretch children’s minds.

Jennifer Minicus

Jennifer Minicus lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. A former French, Latin and mathematics teacher, Jennifer currently enjoys the responsibilities of a "domestic engineer", particularly making...