My rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
I first read The Hobbit at school and was so enamoured that I wrote 3 of my own books about a mythical world with dragons and small creatures on great quests (complete with maps). I’m not much into dragons these days and don’t have much time for myths and legends but having just re-read it with my nine-year-old daughter, it’s still wonderfully brilliant. The writing is exceptional, “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread” and wouldn’t everyone love to be described “like summer”. And what an opening line: “In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit”. It’s actually a supremely political book; along with the hard-hitting sequels of Lord of the Rings, it’s an allegory for World War One. And without any help from me, my daughter has become obsessed with her own maps, carefully carving out old-fashioned quests of her own, with mountains, dwarves, and small creatures. A must read.
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