Last week, a friend shared a photo of a library book she'd come across about a boy named John Ronald who loved dragons. And as my little ones have been getting older and asking me to read more often to them, I've been trying to be more intentional about the books I fill our shelves with... so I knew I needed this one.
I posted a little about it on my Instagram feed but I thought I'd share a few more of my thoughts on this sweet biography of JRR Tolkien for those who were interested.
The story itself was absolutely darling, and the illustration just brought it to life in the sweetest way! Following Tolkien's life from such a young age while focusing on his love for dragons gave it such a unique perspective compared to other Tolkien biographies I've read. And my children (4 and 18 months) absolutely adored it. They've asked to read it multiple times and love pointing at the illustrations of horses and dragons.
I so appreciated that the author took the time to mention Tolkien's Catholic faith and the role it played in his life, especially when so many studies of his life and works tend to look past its importance. The beauty and peace that he found in the Church strengthened, inspired, and sustained him - even as he would grow to face the horrors of war.
As the story progressed and John Ronald grew, his search for dragons is seamlessly woven into the years. I thought the description of his love for Edith was so simple and beautiful, and as the story of The Hobbit began to unfold, John Ronald followed Bilbo along his path... all the way to the Misty Mountains.
I don't want to spoil the story because it truly is so beautifully done, so I won't say too much more about it. But I will say that it is a touching classic that deserves a space on the bookshelf of every home.
For everyone who has dreamt of dragons and far-away adventures, who invented their own languages and mythologies or worlds, who followed their stories to new paths... this one is for you.
Because I loved this book so much and I want everyone to own a copy, I'm giving one away to one of you! You can enter by using the gleam widget below. Best of luck to you & thank you for being a part of the Tea with Tolkien community :)
"John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of JRR Tolkien" is available for purchase through Amazon. Clicking through from our site will support Tea with Tolkien at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
More about the Book: