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Katherine

Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States Member Since 2009

I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

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  • "Charming children’s fantasy"

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    Originally posted at Fantasy Literature

    Five Children and It combines eleven stories that Edith Nesbit wrote about five siblings who discovered a wish-granting fairy called The Psammead in the sandlot of the house they recently moved into. The stories were originally serialized in shorter form in Strand Magazine in 1900. The first story (the first chapter of the novel) tells how the children moved from London to Kent, explored their new house and yard, and found the Psammead. He grumpily agrees to grant the children a daily wish that will end at sundown.

    Each chapter tells the story of a single day, how the children wish for something, and how it goes wrong. Usually they wish for something obvious like beauty or money, but sometimes they accidentally wish for something they didn’t really want granted, such as when Cyril carelessly wishes that his baby brother would grow up. The consequences are always unexpected and usually quite awful, and the children have to get themselves out of the situation they got themselves into, often at a cost that leaves them poorer than they were before they made the wish. It’s all rather funny and there are many lessons learned. The take away message is to be careful what you wish for!

    I love Edith Nesbit’s stories — they’re still as humorous and wonderful as they were over 100 years ago. They’re delightfully old-fashioned. For example, the little boys play outside in coats and ties and have to roll down their stockings to show off their bruises. Nesbit is an intrusive narrator, often offering commentary and amusing insights about the characters or their predicaments and sometimes making polite suggestions for the reader’s own behavior. I thought the book was charming and I think it will appeal to any modern reader, child or adult.

    Five Children and It has been adapted into anime, comics, a BBC TV series and movies, and several children’s authors have expanded upon the concept in their own novels. Nesbit also wrote some later stories which included the Psammead.

    Five Children and It is easily found for free online since it’s now in the public domain. I listened to the audio version read by Johanna Ward who is absolutely wonderful. I got this book for $3 by “purchasing” this free Kindle version and then using the Whispersync feature to purchase the audio version. If you do likewise, make sure you’re getting Johanna Ward’s narration. There are others, but I doubt they could be better.

    More

    Five Children and It

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By E. Nesbit
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Curious to see if people on the other side of the globe walk upside down, Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane, and their baby brother start digging a hole to Australia. They don’t get too far, however, before they dig up a furry brown creature with bat’s ears. It is a Psammead, an ancient sand-fairy. The Sammyadd, as the children call it, grumpily tells them that he is obliged to grant their wishes, because making people’s wishes come true is what Sandfairies do. However, there is one catch: The wishes come undone at sunset.

    Katherine says: "Charming children’s fantasy"
  • "An endearing classic"

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    Another endearing children’s fantasy by a woman who obviously knows what children like. You can’t go wrong with Edith Nesbit and most of her books are in the public domain so you can get the free ebook at Amazon and add the whispersync narration. Great deal.

    More

    The Enchanted Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By E. Nesbit
    • Narrated By Virginia Leishman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Jerry, Jimmy, and Kathleen can’t go home for their school holiday because their cousin is sick with measles there. Instead, they stay at Kathleen’s school with the French teacher. One morning, they set out to find adventure. Instead, they find an enchanted place - and magic, too! Walking through a nearby forest, they discover an enormous mansion, where a girl lies asleep in the garden. Although she pretends to be an enchanted princess, she is Mabel, the housekeeper’s niece. But she has a ring that really is magical. It can make the wearer invisible and grant wishes.

    Katherine says: "An endearing classic"
  • "Get this version!"

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    This is one of the best children's stories I've ever read and this particular narration with Jim Dale is stunning. Totally excellent. Highly recommended.

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    Peter Pan

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By J.M. Barrie
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (415)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (248)

    Fly away with Peter Pan to the enchanted island of Neverland! This first chapter book adaptation of the classic novel, originally published in 1911, tells the story of the boy who never grows up. And when they join Peter on his magical island, Wendy and her brothers are in for exciting encounters with mermaids, an Indian princess, and pirates! Let the amazing adventures begin!

    H. says: "This may not be the story you think you remember"
  1. Five Children and It
  2. The Enchanted Castle
  3. Peter Pan
  4. .

A Peek at melrailey's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
95
 
Georgia, United States 103 REVIEWS / 265 ratings Member Since 2007 11 Followers / Following 0
 
melrailey's greatest hits:
  • How to Train Your Dragon

    "Terrific Fun!"

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    Performance
    Story

    The only reason I downloaded this book is because it is narrated by David Tennant. I couldn't help myself I just had to listen to Tennant read. I expected the book to resemble the movie - which I loved. But I was wrong. This story was very different than the movie and way fun. Tennant is an amazing narrator and he brought the story to life. And since the story was so different from the movie, it was all new to me. I highly recommend this audiobook if you have young kids or if you're a Tennant fan.

  • Nim's Island

    "Delightful"

    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was funny and entertaining. It was also nice to see a strong, girl heroine.

  • Darke: Septimus Heap, Book Six

    "Can't Wait For More!"

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    Performance
    Story

    I look forward to every single Septimus Heap book. I love listening to them. I think that Angie Sage is a master wordsmith and I get giggles over her use of language. I highly recommend these books. Every time I listen to them, I find myself driving very slow on the way home wanting to get more of the book listened to before I have to turn it off. In addition, Gerard Doyle is an excellent narrator. (Of course, I'm sure it helps with my narration that I am seeing Gerard Butler in my head when I listen to these books).

    I'm just really glad that Angie Sage hasn't decided to stop these books at seven - I know that I'll have Septimus around for a while.

  • Fyre: Septimus Heap, Book Seven

    "Magical Ending to a Great Series"

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    Performance
    Story

    It feels like so many of my favorite series are ending :( I was so excited to get this audiobook because I love the world of Septimus Heap. I think Angie Sage has created an unique and creative magical world and her use of language is just terrific. She has some of the most intelligent humor I've ever seen in a book intended for this age of child. Sage assumes that the person reading her books is intelligent and never talks down to her audience. I love that. This is one of my top audiobooks so far this year. Gerard Doyle does a fantastic job narrating. I loved seeing Septimus and Jenna grow and take charge of their lives (even though they're just 15). At the end of the day, I was pleased where Sage ended the series (even though I still want more).

    If you haven't started these books, I highly recommend them.

James

James Springfield, MO, United States 03-22-14 Member Since 2010

New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.

HELPFUL VOTES
807
ratings
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503
478
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
107
26
  • "James will figure it out."

    3 of 3 helpful votes

    RAINBOW PAINT DRIES VERY QUICK AND VERY HARD
    Dahl has a wonderful imagination. Children will love this book and Adults will like it. I enjoyed it and was always interested in what was going to happen next. James and his giant insect friends and his giant peach manage to get into several fixes, but James always comes up with the type of solution that only a ten year old would dream up. I would recommend this for seven and up, but would also suggest that you get an illustrated copy to read along with listening, it should enhance the experience. I imagine nook has a copy.

    How do you put your arms around an Earthworm's shoulders?
    Four people die in this book. James becomes an orphan when his parents are eaten by a Rhino. We never meet his parents and it is told as something that happened in the past. It is not described in detail or anything, just used to make James a orphan, so we can get to the evil aunts. The aunts are squashed by the Peach. I really did not feel this was necessary to the story, but it was also not really spelled out and I believe most kids may not realize that they were killed. Older kids will figure it out and I thought you should be warned. All in all it is a book that will stir your child's imagination.

    More

    James and the Giant Peach

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Roald Dahl
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    A little magic can take you a long way. After James Henry Trotter's parents are tragically eaten by a rhinoceros, he goes to live with his two horrible aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Life there is no fun, until James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree and strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it's as big as a house. Inside, James meets a bunch of oversized friends - Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug, and more. With a snip of the stem, the peach starts rolling away, and the great adventure begins!

    James says: "James will figure it out."

What's Trending in Kids:

  • The Giver (






UNABRIDGED) by Lois Lowry Narrated by Ron Rifkin

    The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
    (1696)
    Performance
    (1025)
    Story
    (1050)

    December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

    Nikki says: "This guy's mouth makes some serious noises..."
  • If I Stay (






UNABRIDGED) by Gayle Forman Narrated by Kirsten Potter

    If I Stay

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gayle Forman
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (544)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (323)

    In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck.

    Jennifer says: "Great story about life flashing before your eyes"
  • The Neverending Story (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Ende Narrated by Gerard Doyle

    The Neverending Story

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Michael Ende
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (96)

    In this classic fantasy novel from author Michael Ende, small and insignificant Bastian Balthazar Bux is nobody's idea of a hero, least of all his own. Then, through the pages of an ancient, mysterious book, he discovers the enchanted world of Fantastica, and only Bastian himself can save the fairy people who live there. Shy, awkward Bastian is amazed to discover that he has become a character in the mysterious book he is reading and that he has an important mission to fulfill.

    James says: "So much better than the movie"
  • Magyk: Septimus Heap, Book One (






UNABRIDGED) by Angie Sage Narrated by Allan Corduner

    Magyk: Septimus Heap, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Angie Sage
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1619)
    Performance
    (737)
    Story
    (751)

    The first book in this enthralling new series by Angie Sage leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters and magykal charms, potions, and spells. Magyk is an original story of lost and rediscovered identities, rich with humor and heart.

    Lindsey says: "Very enjoyable"
  •  
  • How to Train Your Dragon (






UNABRIDGED) by Cressida Cowell Narrated by David Tennant

    How to Train Your Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (66)

    Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.

    melrailey says: "Terrific Fun!"
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (






UNABRIDGED) by L. Frank Baum Narrated by Anne Hathaway

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1934)
    Performance
    (1791)
    Story
    (1783)

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    Thug4life says: "Great for family car ride"
  • Wonder (






UNABRIDGED) by R. J. Palacio Narrated by Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd

    Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (933)
    Performance
    (842)
    Story
    (836)

    August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school - until now. He’s about to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid, then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?R. J. Palacio has crafted an uplifting novel full of wonderfully realistic family interactions, lively school scenes, and writing that shines with spare emotional power.

    Jay says: "A Beautiful Story"
  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Rick Riordan Narrated by Jesse Bernstein

    The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (3613)
    Performance
    (1758)
    Story
    (1794)

    Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to stay out of trouble. But can he really be expected to stand by and watch while a bully picks on his scrawny best friend? Or not defend himself against his pre-algebra teacher when she turns into a monster and tries to kill him? Of course, no one believes Percy about the monster incident; he's not even sure he believes himself.

    Teddy says: "Fun KIDS Book"
  •  
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia (






UNABRIDGED) by C.S. Lewis Narrated by Michael York

    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Chronicles of Narnia

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3537)
    Performance
    (924)
    Story
    (958)

    Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch.

    Caitlin says: "Great audiobook!"
  • A Bear Called Paddington (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Bond Narrated by Stephen Fry

    A Bear Called Paddington

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Michael Bond
    • Narrated By Stephen Fry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (73)

    Paddington Bear had traveled all the way from Darkest Peru when the Brown family first met him on Paddington Station. Since then their lives have never been quite the same... for ordinary things become quite extraordinary when a bear called Paddington is involved.

    R. S. Silverman says: "Delightful storytelling."
  • Mama Gloria's Rainbow Fruit Salad: Mama Gloria Chinese-English Bilingual Books (






UNABRIDGED) by Gloria Ng Narrated by Gloria Ng

    Mama Gloria's Rainbow Fruit Salad: Mama Gloria Chinese-English Bilingual Books

    • UNABRIDGED (13 mins)
    • By Gloria Ng
    • Narrated By Gloria Ng
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Gloria Chinese-English Bilingual Books are a great introduction to high-interest topics. In addition to the American English audio file in this audiobook, listeners will also have access to the audio files in Cantonese and Mandarin, read by the author at a slow pace for easy-to-use reference. These audio files are designed for older readers, such as adults, to read alongside early readers as young as from birth.

  • Wonder World 4: The Adventure Continues (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert W. Williams Narrated by Darren Roebuck

    Wonder World 4: The Adventure Continues

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert W. Williams
    • Narrated By Darren Roebuck
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This exciting series follows a group of teens to a planet on the other side of the Sun and takes you along for the ride! Book four begins with the conclusion of their encounter with the red slime-shrooms in the alien city of Cappamotia and brings the listener to the skyscraper-tall jungle where the 10 inch, photosynthetic primates known as the Greeple live.

  • The Salt-Stained Book: Strong Winds Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by Julia Jones Narrated by Anna Bentinck

    The Salt-Stained Book: Strong Winds Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Julia Jones
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In 1945, two brothers die in the icy Barents Sea and a book is all that survives of them. More than 60 years later, Donny and his mother set out for Suffolk to meet his mysterious great aunt. There is an accident and Donny is taken into care. But are the officials all that they seem and why won't they believe Donny's story? Soon he discovers that his life has been built on a lie.

  • The Secret Forest (






UNABRIDGED) by Misty Lynn Wesley Narrated by Elaine Baden

    The Secret Forest

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Misty Lynn Wesley
    • Narrated By Elaine Baden
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    The little fox awoke from a good night's sleep and he just knew that this day was going to be extra special. What he did not know was just how special the day was going to be, and how it would change his life forever. Who will he meet?

  •  
  • Magus: Advent Mage Cycle, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Honor Raconteur Narrated by Mark McClain Wilson

    Magus: Advent Mage Cycle, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Honor Raconteur
    • Narrated By Mark McClain Wilson
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    I looked, really looked at Trev'nor. Trev'nor has always been special, a child prodigy in a life that had no child prodigies. My head was swimming with questions after Xiaolang's revelation. Who was the boy we were to rescue, and why was Trev'nor so important for that boy?

  • The Fairy Bell Sisters: Rosie and the Secret Friend (






UNABRIDGED) by Margaret McNamara Narrated by Jane Collingwood

    The Fairy Bell Sisters: Rosie and the Secret Friend

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 24 mins)
    • By Margaret McNamara
    • Narrated By Jane Collingwood
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Before Tinker Bell flew to Never Land and met Peter Pan she lived on Sheepskerry Island with her fairy sisters - Clara, Lily, Rosie, Silver, and Squeak the baby. The young fairies go to fairy school and love tea parties, dressing up, and exciting adventures. It's summer time on Sheepskerry Island, which means the Summer People will arrive for their holidays. That's when the fairies must take great care not to be discovered by humans. But when Rosie the fairy meets a little girl called Louisa it's hard to stay hidden.

  • Leprechaun Hunting: A St. Patrick's Day Mystery: Rebekah, Mouse & RJ: Special Edition (






UNABRIDGED) by PJ Ryan Narrated by Gwendolyn Druyor

    Leprechaun Hunting: A St. Patrick's Day Mystery: Rebekah, Mouse & RJ: Special Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (39 mins)
    • By PJ Ryan
    • Narrated By Gwendolyn Druyor
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Glitter, gold, and lots of green are filling the hallways at school as everyone is getting ready for the big St. Patrick's Day festival. Rebekah, Mouse, and the whole gang are especially excited about the big treasure hunt. But suddenly, they find themselves hunting more than just the treasure.