Like many other people around the world I’m incredibly excited about the release of the first Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey. What better way to get ready for the movie than delve into books about it. Like me, you could read the original book that inspired the movie, or you could read the wonderful new books that Harper Collins New Zealand have just released that take you inside the world of the movie. Here are four of these wonderful books, aimed at a variety of different audiences.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – The Movie Storybook tells a simplified version of the story for children (or adults who want to know what the story is about). The story is accompanied by lots of stunning, full-colour photos of the characters and places from the movie, as well as maps of Middle Earth. The story is easy to follow and perfect for sharing with younger children who might not be ready to read the original story themselves.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – The World of Hobbits introduces children to the creatures who are the heroes of both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and tells you everything you always wanted to know about Hobbits. You can learn not only what a Hobbit actually is, but also what they look like, what their nature is, what they wear, why they have such big, hairy feet, where they live, what their home looks like, what they eat, and who their friends and enemies are. The writing is aimed at children so it’s basic and easy to understand, but incredibly interesting. I really like the layout, as there is a good balance of images and text on each page. There are plenty of full-colour photos of the characters and places, as well as maps, decorative borders, and even a Hobbit’s menu.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Visual Companion is aimed at an older audience and incorporates information and images from the younger titles. It includes information about Hobbits (and Bilbo Baggins in particular), profiles of the other characters including Gandalf, each of the Dwarves and the Elves, a summary of their quest and information about the places they pass through, the enemies that they clash with, and a stunning map of Middle Earth that folds out. The thing that I like most about this particular book is that you learn more about each of the characters, like their personalities and why they look the way they do. Once again, this book is filled with full-colour photos of the characters and places from the movie, but you also get a more close-up look at the characters costumes and weapons. This hardback book is one to treasure and is the perfect gift for Hobbit fans young and old.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide is the perfect book for older Hobbit fans and movie buffs. This book gives a behind-the-scenes look at making this incredible movie. It includes exclusive interviews with director Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, as well as the rest of the main cast and filmmakers, who share film-making secrets and tales of what it was actually like making movie magic in Middle Earth. Not only do you get photos from the movie, but also behind-the-scenes photos of the actors, locations, sets, creatures, and costumes. You learn about Peter Jackson’s journey to bring the story to life, how they got the right look for the characters and their costumes, how they decided which locations to shoot in, how they transform an actor into a Dwarf, and how they filmed in high definition and 3D. I could sit for hours reading this book and poring over all the stunning photos. Anything you would want to know about making a film is in this book and it’s incredibly detailed. With Gandalf gazing out at you on the front cover you can’t help but pick this book up from the shelf, and you won’t be disappointed if you do.
There is a Hobbit book for everyone this Christmas, whether you are young or old. Grab one of these wonderful books to put under your tree this Christmas.
Thanks to Harper Collins New Zealand I have 2 Hobbit prize packs to give away. You can enter the draw here.