3:45 pm EDT, April 18, 2012

Tolkien and Dickens descendants to collaborate on new fantasy books

The grandsons of revered writers Charles Dickens and J.R.R. Tolkein have announced a collaboration on two new fantasy books for children. The books are slated for release later this year.

Poet Michael Tolkien will write two new novels based on stories that his grandfather told him as a child, entitled Wish and Rainbow. Gerald Dickens meanwhile (great-great-grandson to the legendary writer) will narrate the audio-book versions of the stories.

Thames River Press –who will publish the two books– announced the collaboration in a press release earlier today.

WISH was inspired by Florence Bone’s fantasy story for children, The Rose-Coloured Wish (1923). Telling the story of two children who set out to use an evil enchanter’s wishing chain of stones to save their alpine valley, only to fall into trouble, the book was read to Michael in the 40s and 50s as a child, and he in turn read it to his own children. Tolkien decided to pay tribute to the now-neglected tale and to “recreate the spirit of the original in new dress” through a verse retelling…

The second book, RAINBOW is based on Florence Bone’s children’s fantasy novel The Other Side of the Rainbow (1910). Michael adapts its themes, characters and journey into a world beyond, which is not whimsical and wayward but conceived as an extension of everyday experience, with added ingredients to make this an exploration of the gift of wonder, the power of selfless love to make lasting changes, deceptive appearances, and the energies of the living world. Grace’s unpredictable and often ‘diverted’ travels towards the mythical havens of Rainbow Garden, Bridge and Palace become a kind of ‘pilgrim’s progress.’

Will you be adding these books to your reading list?

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