We finished reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit this week – the first full-length book I’ve read to the kids. It was a the obvious choice, as this was also the first book my Mom read to me. It’s been a while since I’ve read that book and several things stand out after so many years. Tolkien wrote in long, descriptive, balanced sentences. Very nice to read aloud. The sense of place and history, the sheer amount of description is palpable in The Hobbit. Of course this has become one of the prevailing themes of fantasy fiction, so no surprise there. Finally, Bilbo is just a great character. And now onto the girls’ thoughts as recorded be me with a few questions here and there…
One favorite part is when Bilbo went to talk to Smaug. He saw the weak spot by getting Smaug to roll over by telling riddles. Bilbo was pretty brave there. I was afraid Bilbo might be found by Smaug, and he’d attack him and eat him. I thought this was the scariest part. Instead he just got a little burnt.
One favorite part is when Bilbo gets the Ring from Gollum. He made Gollum yell and hiss by not telling him what’s in his pocket when they were telling riddles. He escaped by putting on the Ring and running down the hall and jumping over Gollum. I thought he’d be safe after that but the goblins and wargs came right after them.
Another favorite part is the Battle of Five Armies. I liked when Thorin came out of the mountain to help the other dwarves get the goblins. I was also glad when Beorn showed up to help and the eagles came down to save them.
I thought it was funny when Bilbo finally gets home and his cousins are trying to take all his stuff. They thought he was dead he’d been gone so long. I don’t know why cousins would do that.
It was pretty scary when the trolls were about to roast Bilbo and the dwarves. Gandalf made their voices and tricked them to stay up until morning and the trolls turned to stone.
At the beginning, Bilbo was curious and nervous. Later he we scared, but he tried to brave. He got out of those bad places with the spiders and the elves by being sneaky and brave. Bilbo was one of my favorite characters because he was brave when his friends needed him even though he’s very little. Also, he found Smaug’s weak spot.
I liked Thorin because he was the leader and King Under the Mountain. I liked Gandalf because he always knew what to do. Also, he tricked the trolls and he told Bilbo, “Well done” when he gave the Arkenstone to Bard and the elves.
The boy had less to say and had a tough time paying attention the entire time. Nonetheless, he too listened and remembers and so he adds these comments:
My favorite part was when Bard the Bowman shot Smaug in his weak spot. The scariest part was when Smaug blew his fire. My favorite characters were Bilbo and Thorin Oakenshield.