Tolkien and Dickens duo team up for kids’ books

A grandson of J R R Tolkien and a descendant of Charles Dickens will collaborate on two new fantasy books for children.

Poet and critic Michael G R Tolkien, the eldest grandson of the Lord of the Rings author, has signed a two-book deal with London-based independent Thames River Press to publish novels based on classic children’s stories. 

The first book, Wish, inspired by Florence Bone’s fantasy story, The Rose-Coloured Wish (1923), will tell the tale 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. Tolkien said he will “re-create the spirit of the original in a new dress”. 

The audiobook version will be narrated by British character actor Gerald Dickens, great-great grandson of Charles Dickens.   

The second book, Rainbow, is based on Bone’s children’s fantasy novel The Other Side of the Rainbow (1910). Both Wish and Rainbow will be published in autumn 2012.