Grafton (1991, first published 1937), 287 pages
The Hobbit is a masterpiece of children’s literature. Like Biblo Baggins, The Hobbit is perfectly formed and packs quite a punch. The book has all the ingredients necessary to capture the childhood imagination, magical lands, a quest, detailed descriptions of food, scary monsters, good and evil characters.
Tolkien’s language is rich and evocative. The Hobbit is perfectly paced and the simple illustrations enlighten the text. It is amazing that Peter Jackson will manage (when the final part of his Hobbit trilogy is released) to turn a 300 page book into nine hours of cinema footage! While the films are well made there is still nothing quite like the childlike excitement of disappearing into the imaginary worlds created by ink on paper.