Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review #114: The Hobbit

Dad:  What did you think about "The Hobbit"?
Isaac (age 13):  "The Hobbit" is one of my favorite books.
Lily (age 8):  It's the bestest book ever.  Really good.  It should win an award.
Isaac:  I like it because it feels like it could have really happened thousands of years ago.  I like how the author describes everything.  It feels like you could go hiking around outside and find those places.
Lily:  I like it because it's an adventure story.  It's exciting.
Gracie (age 11):  I like this book because it was funny.  The characters are funny.  I like fat old Bombur.
Elijah (age 6):  Everyone should read the book because it's cool.  The coolest book we've ever read.
Dad:  Tell us what the story is about...
Gracie:  There's this Bilbo.  Bilbo Baggins.  And he's a quiet little guy.  He's a REALLY little guy.  He's a hobbit.  Hobbits are baby-sized people with big fuzzy feet.
Isaac:  They're not the size of babies.
Gracie:  Maybe the size of a baby cow.  Bilbo's friend Gandalf -- who he just met -- is a wizard.  He's cool, except he always keeps disappearing at the worst times.  Gandalf tells Bilbo, "You need to go on an adventure."
Lily:  Then a whole bunch of dwarves come.  They want Bilbo to go on an adventure to be a burglar to get gold back from the dragon who stole all the gold from the dwarves.
Dad:  They had lots of adventures along the way...  What was your favorite one?
Isaac:  The spiders.
Lily:  I like spiders...
Gracie:  You like spiders?
Isaac:  The group got completely lost in Mirkwood Forest.
Lily:  They went off the forest path.  They fell asleep and the spiders wrapped them up in their spider webs.  They are huuuuuuge spiders.
Isaac:  I imagine the spiders to be the size of dining room chairs.
Gracie:  Cows.  I think they are as big as full grown cows.
Isaac:  Yeah!  Cows!  That big.
Dad:  Hmmm, spider-cows....  They could squirt webs from their udders.
Lily:  Bilbo Baggins got out of his spider web and saved all the dwarves.
Isaac:  He sees the other dwarves wrapped up in the trees, but there were tons of spiders.  This is the first time Bilbo can't rely on anyone else.  He has to do it himself.  He becomes a hero.
Gracie:  Normally they would all be like, "The wizard saved us."  But Gandalf had disappeared again.  So Bilbo was like "I'll have to stand up and save these dwarves, because apparently, they can't save themselves!"
Isaac:  It's the first time the dwarves start appreciating him.
Elijah:  Bilbo was a warrior.  Bilbo killed practically all of the spiders.
Dad:  Would you be brave enough to do that?
Elijah:  If I was like Bilbo.  But I think Bilbo is braver than me.
Dad:  What if Dad was wrapped up in a spider web, about to be eaten?  Would you come save me?
Elijah:  Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm......
Isaac:  You'd better say yes!
Elijah:  Yeah, I'd do it.
Dad:  Thank-you!
Gracie:  What about me?
Elijah:  No.  I would leave you there.
Gracie:  My brother loves me.
Elijah:  I'm just kidding.
Dad:  Tell us about some of the characters and creatures they all met along the way.  How about Elves?
Gracie:  Sometimes elves are like solemn warriors.  But in this book they were like, "Tra-la-la-la-loodle! Tra-da-doo-da-doodle!"  They were jumping around, dancing in the trees, drinking wine.
Dad:  How about Goblins?
Isaac:  They escaped goblins more than once.  Wolves chased everyone up into the trees.  Then the goblins came and started setting the trees on fire so they were trapped.  Then these eagles came and picked the dwarves and Bilbo up off the trees.
Gracie:  The eagles are coming!  The eagles are coming!
Dad:  How about Dragons?
Elijah:  Smaug is the name of a big dragon.  He's cool.
Gracie:  I like Smaug.  Smaug is the bestest.  He's my favorite besides Fili and Kili.  He's the dragon who guards all the treasure.  He's kind of funny and gruesome.  He likes to kill things.
Dad:  Anyone else?
Lily:  My favorite character of the book was Gollum.
Gracie:  What - are you serious?
Lily:  I like Gollum.
Gracie:  You like Gollum?  And you like spiders?  You're just creepy.
Dad:  You didn't like Gollum, Gracie?  I thought you loved that chapter.
Gracie:  I did.  It was my favorite.  I just don't like him.  But he makes a good villain.  Gollum is yucky.  He's evil!  He's creepy!!!  And he liked to eat people.  He became invisible with a magic ring and he ate a baby goblin!  A little squeaker!
Dad:  That's one less goblin in the world.
Gracie:  But it was just a baby squeaker!
Lily:  Gollum is really mischievous.  He likes riddles.
Gracie:  His riddles were tricky.  I don't know how Bilbo solved them.  But I like people who can tell riddles.  So maybe Gollum and I could be friends -- if he wasn't evil, and still had his grandma, and wasn't living down in the caves eating people and little baby squeakers.  Then he might be my friend.

Bilbo and Gollum, by Lily

Bilbo and spiders, by Elijah

Smaug, by Gracie

eagles carrying dwarves and Bilbo, by Isaac

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Published, 1937: Allen & Unwin
Like it?  Here it is


Heidi Noel said...

You guys are so articulate. I love all the descriptions. The art is awesome, as always, too!

KJ said...

One of my favorite books :)
Great review!

Chachic said...

These kids are so cute, I love hearing their thoughts about the book. You guys read The Hobbit just in time to watch the movie when it comes out later this year. :)

Aedan Peterson said...

I agree, that is an awesome book. I can't wait to see the movie. If you want to see some amazing art on the hobbit go to this link...
It is done by a guy, that me and my dad know, named Justin Gerard. He is an amazing artist. Awesome pictures by the way.

Z-Kids said...

We love Justin's work! Thanks for sharing the link here, Aedan :)

Jonathon Arntson said...

WOW! This blew me away, Z-kids. I would like to read The Hobbit with another person. I like to bounce ideas of other people.

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