By Houghton Mifflin

Reviewed for High School, 2012

The Art of The Hobbit By J.R.R. Tolkien

Before The Lord of the Rings, Middle Earth’s most beloved protagonist was an adventure-shy hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bilbo’s classic tale of adventure with a beautiful and lovingly created homage to the man responsible for bringing Middle Earth and its inhabitants to life. The Art of The Hobbit includes early sketches and doodles straight from J.R.R. Tolkien’s notebook. From rough outlines of Smaug the dragon to painted portraits of the rolling hills of Hobbiton, this is an intimate tour of a fantastical land through the eyes of its creator. While this book is essential for all Tolkien fans, aspiring writers and artists should also take note. This is a rare glimpse into the makings of a masterpiece. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22.98)