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Review: 'The Hobbit' movie tie-in books

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Activity Book" (Houghton

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Activity Book" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $12) (2012) Handout Credit: Handout

“Hobbit” fans, let the adventure begin.

With the long-awaited motion picture release of “The Hobbit” on Dec. 14 comes all things hobbit on store shelves near you, including several books based on the J. R. R. Tolkien novel that are worth their weight in treasure.

Five came across my desk: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movie Storybook” ($9.95), “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Visual Companion” ($19.95), “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: The World of Hobbits” ($9.95), “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide” ($14.95), and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Activity Book” ($12). all from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

My 9-year-old, Harrison, agreed to read “The Hobbit” before seeing the movie, which he did in less than a week. The tie-in books, which he read next, served almost like a Playbill. Though he has seen “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy several times, “The Hobbit” is full of characters not in the movies.

He enjoyed looking at the roster of dwarves and reading a little about each of them. It’s a long list of characters that is kind of tough to get straight, but he was able to make the connection between how he had imagined them in his reading and how they would appear on the screen.

But Harrison enjoyed the activity book most, especially solving “Hobbit”-related puzzles.

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