Wednesday, September 9, 2020

"Mr. Bliss" by J. R. R. Tolkien


This is the most adorable little picture book!  Tolkien wrote it for his kids, somewhat inspired by his own distaste for automobiles.  In it, an eccentric man named Mr. Bliss, owner of a giant girabbit (half giraffe, half rabbit) and wearer of a very tall hat, decides to buy a snazzy yellow car and proceeds to have a series of comical, absurd adventures as a result.  Those include talking bears, missing garden produce, and the girabbit.  I loved it.

Tolkien's distaste for complicated machinery and love of open countryside definitely is on display here!  I wish I'd had this book when my kids were younger because it would have been such fun to read to them while they snuggled on my lap.

This is my 34th book read from my TBR shelves for #TheUnreadShelfProject2020 

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  G.

14 comments:

  1. Sounds like Mr. Toad from Wind in the Willows.

    And I'm w/ Mr. Tolkien. My girls and I wish horses were our regular mode of transportation. How awesome would that be?

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    1. Ruth, oh, no. Infinitely superior to awful Mr. Toad. Mr. Bliss is kind, considerate, accommodating, and everything well-behaved that Mr. Toad is not. (I am not a Toad fan, though. I spend all of his parts of that book wanting to slap him.)

      Yes, I have always wished I could live a life where horses were a daily part of it. Maybe one day, when we retire to the countryside!

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  2. Hadn't heard of this one! Adding it to my list...

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    1. Heidi, you are in for a treat! It is just adorable.

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  3. Aww, I'd never heard of this book before. It sounds amazing.

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    1. Lydia, it's very cute and fun -- would be a great read-aloud for kids who are maybe 6 or 7 and still like picture books read to them.

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  4. This sounds like such a sweet book! I had no idea it existed! I notice you're reading a book called Roverandom by Tolkien; I've never heard of that one either! And I claim to be a die-hard Tolkien fan! Is it good??

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    1. Kendra, it's definitely sweet and funny! And so is Roverandom, which I just finished last night and will be reviewing later this week. I heard of both of them from book bloggers and bookstagrammers -- I could only find a used copy of Mr. Bliss, but Roverandom is a pretty recent release -- I got it as part of a little boxed set, but I believe you can get it solo as well. Neither of them were published in Tolkien's lifetime, though he'd definitely intended to publish Roverandom, but the publisher wanted more like The Hobbit instead of more kid stories in general, so we got LOTR instead.

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  5. This sounds like a wacky ride but honestly I think we all need to focus on the real priority here, which is: girabbit.

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    1. Olivia, you're not wrong. At all. And the pictures of the girabbit? Priceless.

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  6. I looked this up on a book-selling site after I first saw this post, since the cover illustration is so cool and fun. I didn't order it, but maybe someday!

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    1. John Smith, fun! I've found copies on Abe Books for under $10. Used, but I'd rather save money when I can ;-)

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  7. Tolkien was such a simple and complicated soul, just like his writing.

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