(I was torn between giving it 3 or 4 stars. I originally gave it 3 -actually meaning 3.5-, but then I started thinking about what this book meant for its time. It has an originality and magic that is not so easy to appreciate at this age and decade, so I think I found the half-star I was looking for — so I change my rating to 4 stars)
I liked the plot, I liked Bilbo, and I liked the ending. I wasn't actually fond of the songs, but it's a children's book, so I think they might be cool for children.
Bilbo Baggins made a great hero: yes, he had the magical ring, but he was also brave and smart, and he didn't win his battles out of force but out of his brain -and more than a little of luck-. His evolution is the best part of the journey.
It's a book I would totally give/read to a child (or even older people), though my read-aloud version would change a few sentences during the battle between Smaug and Esgaroth people and tell about how "both men and women" fought. I can't help it.