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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!

HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

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    Five Children and It

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By E. Nesbit
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    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
    (6)
    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
    (413)
    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 ESK's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
176
 
Moscow, Russia 58 REVIEWS / 329 ratings Member Since 2011 30 Followers / Following 1
 
ESK's greatest hits:
  • Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: In Aid of the Royal Theatrical Fund

    "Masterly reading"

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    Story

    It was delightful to listen to O. Wilde's fairy tales. Just look at the list of the narrators. They are virtuosos! I'm glad I bought the audiobook. It is a gem of my collection. Listening to the fairy tales was a captivating experience.

  • Just So Stories

    "Excellent but for the recording"

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    Performance
    Story

    The book was moving and amusing, and D. Thorn's performance was superb. The stories are meant for children and big boys and girls who love fairy tales.
    Here is the list of the stories:
    How the whale got his throat; How the camel got his hump; How the rhinoceros got his skin; How the leopard got his spots; The elephant's child; The sing-song of old man kangaroo; The beginning of the armadillos; How the first letter was written; How the alphabet was made; The crab that played with the sea; The cat that walked by himself; The butterfly that stamped.
    'The Tabu tale' is missing.
    The only thing I'd like to warn readers about is that the recording is a bit messed up. While downloading the audio, it struck me as odd that the length should be 6 hours and 39 minutes. That's a bit too long for the 12 stories, eh? It turned out that the book should have lasted 3 hours and 29 minutes, but some of the stories repeat themselves.

  • The Once and Future King

    "Fascinating fantasy saga"

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    Story

    I'm so lucky to have bought this audiobook. I've never been a fan of such a genre, but this is truly a classic. I lost my heart to it! I had so much fun listening to the Wart's adventures and metamorphoses in Part 1! The narrator's rendition was outstanding! King Pellinore's tragic voice will stay in my memory. I enjoyed the accents he did.
    The Sword in the Stone (Part 1), depicting the Wart's training by Merlyn, is perhaps the most carefree and happy-go-lucky part of all. It verged on mock heroic and parody. But things got more and more brooding and momentous, and there were more sacrifices and deaths as the denouement drew near (though The Ill-made knight, telling the story of Lancelot, was mostly ironic).
    Just like Merlyn teaching young Arthur magic to "maturate", in each part of the book T.H. White teaches the reader to become wiser, get real and stop seeing only the bright side of life. Life (or rather people) can be hilarious and comical, but it can also be cruel and nonsensical, like the killing of the unicorn episode.
    The plot is consistent, but each part is somewhat different and has its own mood. Definitely The Sword in the Stone stands out in terms of humour and atmosphere. The Queen of Air and Darkness, The Ill-Made Knight, and The Candle in the Wind tell a grave story of Arthur’s life. The book of Merlyn is an insightful conclusion to the epic.
    The Once and Future King is not a humorous story of King Arthur and the Round Table as one might think after reading The Sword in the Stone, but it's a philosophical fantasy novel that brings up such subject matter as power, justice, war, greed, treachery, love, and religion, to name a few.

Tina

Tina Nibley, UT, United States 12-27-09 Member Since 2007

I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.

HELPFUL VOTES
271
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FOLLOWERS
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  • "HAHA! Great narration..."

    5 of 5 helpful votes

    This book would not have been so enjoyable to listen, if the narrator had been different. Too funny! I am just drawn in and can see Tom and characters in my mind, clear as day. I loved the stumble when it came to winning the bible. David and who?

    There are a few snipettes of the audio that are cut out. Someone wasn't watching what they were doing. But these can be skipped over. It would be nice to see an updated audio prepared. If this were a paper book, then the missing pages would be cause for return to the seller. Because this book is in the public domain, the text is easily found.

    If you want a funny story, the kind that are dismissed because "boys will be boys" then you should really enjoy this audiobook because of this specific narration.

    More

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Garrick Hagon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (19)

    This is the story of a boy's adventures growing up in a small town on the banks of the Mississippi river over 100 years ago. The cheerful, adventurous hero plays truant to form a pirate band and, together with his best friend, Huckleberry Finn, finds fun, excitement, and buried treasure along the shores of the great river.

    Jane says: "Well read, some technical issues"

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
    (1629)
    Performance
    (972)
    Story
    (993)

    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
    (505)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (284)

    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.

    Heidi P :) says: "Loved the story!"
  • 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
    (885)
    Performance
    (800)
    Story
    (792)

    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.

    Regina-Audible says: "Everyone deserves a standing ovation at least once"
  • 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3575)
    Performance
    (1720)
    Story
    (1757)

    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"
  •  
  • Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Christopher Paolini Narrated by Gerard Doyle

    Eldest: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3722)
    Performance
    (1749)
    Story
    (1778)

    Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have just saved the rebel state from destruction by the mighty forces of King Galbatorix, cruel ruler of the Empire. Now Eragon must travel to Ellesmera, land of the elves, for further training in the skills of the Dragon Rider: magic and swordsmanship. Soon he is on the journey of a lifetime, his eyes open to awe-inspiring new places and people, his days filled with fresh adventure. But chaos and betrayal plague him at every turn, and nothing is what it seems.

    Teddy says: "You see growth in the Author"
  • 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
    (3513)
    Performance
    (905)
    Story
    (938)

    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 Grimm Warning: The Land of Stories, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Chris Colfer Narrated by Chris Colfer

    A Grimm Warning: The Land of Stories, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Chris Colfer
    • Narrated By Chris Colfer
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Conner Bailey thinks his fairy-tale adventures are behind him - until he discovers a mysterious clue left by the famous Brothers Grimm. With help from his classmate Bree and the outlandish Mother Goose, Conner sets off on a mission across Europe to crack a two-hundred-year-old code. Meanwhile, Alex Bailey is training to become the next Fairy Godmother...but her attempts at granting wishes never go as planned. Will she ever be truly ready to lead the Fairy Council?

  • The Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Rick Riordan Narrated by Jesse Bernstein

    The Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2610)
    Performance
    (1359)
    Story
    (1392)

    After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson, a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any "normal" friends.

    Bridget Westhoven says: "great family fare"
  •  
  • The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Philip Pullman Narrated by Philip Pullman, full cast

    The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, full cast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4983)
    Performance
    (1503)
    Story
    (1524)

    When Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon decide to spy on a presentation her uncle, the commanding Lord Asriel, is making to the elders of Jordan College they have no idea that they will become witnesses to an attempted murder, and even less that they are taking the first steps in a journey that will lead them into danger and adventure unlike anything Lyra's unfettered imagination has conjured up.

    Arnold says: "A Terrific Book"
  • 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
    (1887)
    Performance
    (1749)
    Story
    (1741)

    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"
  • Alfie the Unicorn: Escape to Princessland (






UNABRIDGED) by Carine Marius Narrated by Martin Healy

    Alfie the Unicorn: Escape to Princessland

    • UNABRIDGED (54 mins)
    • By Carine Marius
    • Narrated By Martin Healy
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Alfie, with his parents and other unicorns, find themselves and their moon threatened by Princess Gloom and her army of Mors Bulls. Alfie the unicorn, our hero, escapes to earth seeking a Princess to save his world. He arrives full of hope in the colorful and beautiful kingdom of Princessland where he meets the kind Queen of Princessland, the happy Princess Purple and a helpful man called Blinkybeard. Each of them will help Alfie in their own way to succeed in his mission.

  • The Boy Who Gave up His Dummy: Child Milestones, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Smith Narrated by Jester Publications

    The Boy Who Gave up His Dummy: Child Milestones, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 mins)
    • By Mark Smith
    • Narrated By Jester Publications
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    This book is a story about a little boy and the path he took to give up his dummy. Giving up something that gives a child comfort can be extremely stressful for them. It's a milestone in their lives that can affect them in many ways. I wanted to produce a book that would help a child get over such a hurdle. The book is aimed at parents who are trying to persuade their young child to give up their dummy (also known as a binky, soother, pacifier or doe-dee), without putting unnecessary stress upon them.

  • Flying High: Glitterwings Academy, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Titania Woods Narrated by Karen Cass

    Flying High: Glitterwings Academy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 53 mins)
    • By Titania Woods
    • Narrated By Karen Cass
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Twink is so excited to be starting her first term at Glitterwings Academy. But she is also a little nervous. Will she make friends? Will she be able to find her way round the huge, dizzying oak tree that is Glitterwings Academy? And, most importantly, will she finally succeed in learning to fly?

  • Lekke the Temple Cat: Horrible Snake: Lekke the Temple Cat, Book 6 (






UNABRIDGED) by DB Stewart Narrated by Ambyr Rose

    Lekke the Temple Cat: Horrible Snake: Lekke the Temple Cat, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 25 mins)
    • By DB Stewart
    • Narrated By Ambyr Rose
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Lekke is wondering why a young monk climbs to the top of the mountain every day. He asks Dumb Dog if he would like to climb with him, then he finds out that a horrible big snake lives at the top of the mountain. Will Lekke be able to face his fear of snakes?

  •  
  • The Tale of Despereaux (






UNABRIDGED) by Kate DiCamillo Narrated by Graeme Malcolm

    The Tale of Despereaux

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kate DiCamillo
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    From the award-winning author Kate DiCamillo comes the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbours a simple, impossible wish. These three characters embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon.

  • Flappy Bird Game Guide (






UNABRIDGED) by Josh Abbott Narrated by Kathleen Leary

    Flappy Bird Game Guide

    • UNABRIDGED (20 mins)
    • By Josh Abbott
    • Narrated By Kathleen Leary
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    With my Unofficial Flappy Bird Game Guide you will learn exactly what you need to know in order to become an expert player and download the game for free!

  • My Best Friend Is A Zombie, Really!!!: The 'My Best Friend Is' Children's Adventure Book Series, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by A. J. Westin Narrated by Aaron Sinn

    My Best Friend Is A Zombie, Really!!!: The 'My Best Friend Is' Children's Adventure Book Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By A. J. Westin
    • Narrated By Aaron Sinn
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Can a zombie really be your best friend? The answer is a resounding "yes" in this tale of two lonely kids; one alive and one dead, who realize they need each other to make themselves whole again and give one another the confidence to go on. In this touching tale, friendship is shown to be the ultimate icebreaker between two people who have no one else to turn to.

  • Hans in Luck (






UNABRIDGED) by Brothers Grimm Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    Hans in Luck

    • UNABRIDGED (11 mins)
    • By Brothers Grimm
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
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    Hans was a faithful servant. At the end of seven years his master gave him a lump of gold "as big as his head". Some will say that Hans was taken advantage of as he returned to his boyhood home. His gold was soon traded for something most considered of lesser value. The trades continued until Hans had nothing, yet Hans considered himself the most fortunate of men. Listen to this classic Brothers Grimm tale to learn the skill of contentment.

  •  
  • Super Sammy and the Terrible Trio Bullies Be-Gone: Super Sammy Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Bolaji O Narrated by Hillary Hawkins

    Super Sammy and the Terrible Trio Bullies Be-Gone: Super Sammy Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By Bolaji O
    • Narrated By Hillary Hawkins
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Has your imagination ever transformed an ordinary afternoon into never-ending adventure?! So goes the world of Sammy - an imaginative little boy who sees larger-than-life adventure at every turn! The Super Sammy Series gives us a direct view into the mind of an ordinary little boy, with an extra-ordinary imagination, and amazing sense of heroism. Sammy's not always the perfect little angel, but his courage against formidable foes will have you cheering out loud!