Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Picture Book about J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien by Alexandra and John Wallner, 2011 Holiday House.

I had seen it on the library catalog while it was still on order... and picked it up yesterday.  The author and illustrator pair have done many children's picture books together, including the nice "Picture Book of..." American history series.

 The interesting and wonderful thing about Tolkien's life isn't easy to tell in a book for kids, because they were the things living inside his heart: his intelligence and discipline, his hard work, his love and dedication to his wife and children, his faith. This picture book tells the life of the renowned author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and it was a life of sorrows, and very ordinary. I like their imaginative way to tell it, illustrated as a progressive board game and populated by his fictional characters. While I may not love the style of the illustrations, the overall effect was sweet. This book can tell a child that a very "regular" life can amount to great things, and that a good writer need not have an exciting and adventurous life.

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