Okay, so flash back to a family vacation when I was.... 11 or so. Maybe 10. Whatever.
Anyway, we were in Northern California, driving through the redwoods, and came across a little place called Hobbiton, USA. (Apparently, it is no more, which is very sad, but you can see pictures at the RINGERS Photo Gallery.)
For whatever bizarre reason, I had never heard of The Hobbit. Blasphemy, I know. But I enjoyed walking through Hobbiton, listening to the story (there were speakers at each spot and you pushed a button to hear that part) and got hold of the book as soon as we got home. And enjoyed it. (Then I tried reading the Lord of the Rings and that's a whole 'nother story for another post.)
Anyway. I hadn't read it again. But now seemed like a good time, what with rumors flying about the movie and all. (Plus we just watched the trilogy.) I do think it's interesting that most of the rumors involve actors whose characters were not actually IN The Hobbit, but whatever.
It's going to be interesting to see how the movie turns out-- the tone is so different. Assuming they get Hugo Weaving again as Elrond (which they should, if only for the sake of continuity) he's going to have to actually be happy, which will just be weird.
Back to the book-- we actually currently own two copies-- the little paperback at the top of this post is what I actually read, because the other was a little too unwieldy. It does, however, have cool pictures, so I flipped through it as I went along.
If I decide to read it with the kids, I think we'll use the illustrated one.
For those of you who have read this with/to your kids, what age worked? I can't decide if Boo is old enough to actually be interested. And, again, there are no girls. (Let's face it, Tolkien wasn't real strong on the female characters.)
Now I'm gearing up to read the trilogy, but like I said, that's a whole 'nother story. :)