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I know the Hobbit was written as a children's book (tale?) and I saw this when I searched the site for similar questions to this one. The story itself can certainly be regarded as almost a fairy tale if we are not going too much into details.

This aspect is actually the basis of my question: I want to tell my 4-year old daughter the story of the hobbit, as I'm sure she'll like it if it was made simple enough for her (i.e. if much of the details and even whole parts were omitted to make a simpler story). Of course, I COULD prepare this story on my own, but I was wondering if such a version was ever made (surely not be Tolkien himself, but perhaps as part of the franchise)?

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    You're looking for the S. Morgenstern "Good Parts" version ;) ? – NKCampbell Sep 3 at 20:11
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    Anecdotally, you may just need an illustrated version. I read the full text to my five-year-old son, but he would only pay attention if I was reading from an old edition illustrated with stills from the 1977 animated movie. The handful of Tolkien originals scattered through the edition that came with The History of the Hobbit weren't enough :) – chepner Sep 3 at 22:28
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    Peter Jackson found the unabridged three-book set... – Machavity Sep 4 at 0:22
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    Thanks to everyone. I HAVE read the Hobbit, many times. I am perfectly capable of abridging it myself, but it will obviously take time and may not be as smooth as a professionally made abridged edition, hence my question. Also, as someone pointed out above, it may be a story intended for children, but it is certainly not childish in style (in my opinion, of course), all the more to someone whose first language is NOT English. – Don_S Sep 4 at 5:30
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    My first language is Hebrew. I did not mention it because I was pretty sure that no one here would be able to help in this regard. There are three translations of the Hobbit to Hebrew (one is particularly interesting because it was made by Israeli air force POWs during their captivity in Egyptian prison some fifty years ago), but they are all full translations of the book, and I'm fairly sure that if there was another Hebrew version I would know about it. At any rate, some translation on my part would be required, but that's not a problem. I was just looking for a good abridged source. – Don_S Sep 4 at 7:36
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Yes, several abridged versions have been made available;

The latter is extremely hard to find, but definitely the shortest written abridgement available, with the exception of the see, hear and read-along novelisation of the Rankin Bass film of the same name.

You can see it in full below.

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If you're looking for a picture book, there's a 1999 graphic novel you could look for. Otherwise there are a various illustrated editions that might be appropriate for reading along with; I found a list that includes several of them.

Cover of Hobbit graphic novel

Apparently there's even been a pop-up book, though it's not the complete story.

Hobbit pop-up book

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    a John Howe pop-up book! Nice! – NKCampbell Sep 3 at 20:52
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    I have the graphic novel and I love it. I may use it, but it is also the full story (even if each picture is worth a thousand words of the original text...). But I'll give it a try. – Don_S Sep 4 at 10:01
  • Most of the versions in your second link are 300+ pages and almost as long as the original. The 1999 Chuck Dixon version looks most appropriate. – Notts90 Sep 4 at 14:14
  • @Notts90 That was my primary recommendation; the rest were noted mostly for completeness. – DavidW Sep 4 at 14:53
  • I was also going to recommend the graphic novel by Dixon and Wenzel - really lovely artwork. – Klaus Æ. Mogensen Sep 6 at 10:05

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