Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

C and I have been reading The Hobbit. It's taking a long time because he reads on his own now so I don't always get a chance to read to him. Have I confessed to having children solely in order to reread classic children's books? Well I did and I am.
Because C is seven and into questioning all things mother related it's no surprise that he might doubt my selection of reading materials.
"Is The Hobbit a famous book?" he asked.
"Of course," I replied.
"Why? No one ever talks about it" he countered. As if anyone out there, children or adults, is discussing literature these days.
I assured him that perhaps not all of his peers may have heard of Bilbo Baggins, but most of their parents would be familiar with him. I was going to then say that when his friends finally get wind of Tolkein, it will be as if they invented Middle Earth themselves, like when teenagers discover Stairway to Heaven.
Instead I tried to explain how there's a director trying to make a new movie based on the book and how difficult it is going to be because the book's fans are going to be hard to please as they are so vested in the book - a concept that's pretty difficult to explain to a seven year old who has seen with his own eyes that the director of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs wasn't exactly concerned about whether or not the movie stuck much to the plot of the book he was familiar with.
So do me a favor - if you see my son, ask him if he's read any good books lately with his mom. And even if you don't know a dwarf from an elf, or the Misty Mountains from Mount McKinley - pretend, for my sake, that you've heard of The Hobbit.
I almost used this song as an example of the book's fame. After all, you have to be pretty famous to have a song written about you, now don't you?
But then I would have had to explain Leonary Nimoy and Star Trek - talk about your fanatical fan base.

song: Ballad of Bilbo Baggins • artist: Leonard Nimoy

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