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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.

    More

    Five Children and It

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By E. Nesbit
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    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
    (417)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (250)

    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 Amanda's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
5
 
7 REVIEWS / 14 ratings 0 Followers / Following 0
 
Amanda's greatest hits:
  • The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

    "Entertainment for the whole family"

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    Story
    What did you love best about The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom?

    Hero's Guild to Saving your Kingdom was a book that my children LOVED, and my husband tolerated well as we travelled. I even caught him smiling and chuckling more often than he would dare to admit. There was plenty of clean humour that keeps parents entertained.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters all had such great personalities.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Our favorite scene was when the princes were imprisoned by the trolls.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The princes are not always so charming.


    Any additional comments?

    We have now nicknamed our children with the names of the princes. I think every family has a Gustav.

  • Magic Marks the Spot: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, Book 1

    "Very Nearly the Best Book of the Year"

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    Would you consider the audio edition of Magic Marks the Spot to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version. We enjoy audio books because we can enjoy them together as a family.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Magic Marks the Spot?

    Hillary's first sword fight as a pirate. She used all of her pirate training as well as a few tricks picked up at finishing school.


    What does Katherine Kellgren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I read to my children with voices, but I could never keep up with all of the passion of Kellgren. Every person was unique, but no one was so over the top that they were annoying. She had great energy that drove the story. I didn't want to stop the van and miss a minutes. I hope she narrates the rest of the series.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    When you are finished with finishing school, try piracy.


    Any additional comments?

    We loved this book. It is one of the best listens we have ever had. I thought it was an old plot, 'Girl forgoes high society for adventure." However, this story was very original and had more than enough plot twists to keep even parents engaged.

  • The Candymakers

    "Slow at first, but then we couldn't stop listening"

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    If you could sum up The Candymakers in three words, what would they be?

    Sugar, Teamwork, and Intrigue


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Candymakers?

    When we discovered someone was a spy.


    Any additional comments?

    We loved that we got to hear the story from everyone's point of view.

  • The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle

    "Worth the Wait"

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    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle again? Why?

    We will be listening to Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle. This series has been something everyone in our family of seven can agree on. Everyone laughs.

    We have two boys and three girls in the back seats, and with this book everyone was appeased. It was never deemed "Boy-y or Girly."


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle?

    When Briar Rose uses the Sword to win a battle of wills.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    Briar Rose. She is such a horrible person, yet Bronson makes her sound so unbelievable sarcastic you can't help but smile.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Storming a Castle?
    You and what army?


    Any additional comments?

    We definitely appreciated more of feminine leads. My girls are excited to be brave like the Princess Ella, Snow White, and Lila. Yet rough and tumble boys are totally engaged as well.

brett

brett new york, NY, United States 08-09-12 Member Since 2010

Homemaker Dad

HELPFUL VOTES
36
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74
34
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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  • "Fun! . The kids in the car want thi..."

    16 of 17 helpful votes

    Fun! . The kids in the car want this one on all the time .
    I have put other audiobooks on but this is their favorite.
    Upon first listen I thought I had wasted my money but after 2 months
    repeatedly playing this one for the kindygarten and school run they still want to listen to it. even other school friends are singing along .
    I will be looking for another one of these .

    More

    The Animal Fair and Other Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 12 mins)
    • By BBC Audio
    • Narrated By uncredited
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (9)

    "Listen and Play" encourages pre-school children to observe the world with theirs ears! Each audiobook contains an exciting mix of songs, nursery rhymes, sound puzzles, and tongue twisters, and finishes with a short story.

    brett says: "Fun! . The kids in the car want this one on ."

What's Trending in Kids:

  • 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
    (553)
    Performance
    (328)
    Story
    (332)

    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 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
    (1704)
    Performance
    (1032)
    Story
    (1057)

    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..."
  • 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
    (939)
    Performance
    (847)
    Story
    (841)

    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"
  • 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
    (1628)
    Performance
    (746)
    Story
    (760)

    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"
  •  
  • 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
    (111)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (101)

    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"
  • 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
    (3614)
    Performance
    (1759)
    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"
  • Gathering Blue (






UNABRIDGED) by Lois Lowry Narrated by Katherine Borowitz

    Gathering Blue

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Katherine Borowitz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (222)

    Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg, lives in a world where the weak are cast aside. She fears for her future until she is spared by the all-powerful Council of Guardians. Kira is a gifted weaver and is given a task that no other community member can do. While her talent keeps her alive and brings certain privileges, Kira soon realizes she is surrounded by many mysteries and secrets. No one must know of her plans to uncover the truth about her world and see what places exist beyond.

    Stephanie says: "Hard to stop listening!"
  • 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
    (1940)
    Performance
    (1797)
    Story
    (1789)

    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"
  •  
  • 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
    (74)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    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!"
  • 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
    (3785)
    Performance
    (1807)
    Story
    (1840)

    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"
  • Shrunk! Mayhem and Meteorites (






UNABRIDGED) by F. R. Hitchcock Narrated by Ben Allen

    Shrunk! Mayhem and Meteorites

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By F. R. Hitchcock
    • Narrated By Ben Allen
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    All is quiet in the seaside town of Bywater-by-Sea - that is until a meteorite falls to earth, landing in the middle of the Field Craft troop's camp. Now it's not just Tom with strange powers: Trouble-maker Jacob can set things on fire and sensible Eric has the power to put them out. What's more, the excavation has uncovered a glittering rock, and the dust is making Bywater-by-Sea even more eccentric than usual.

  • The Forever Whale (






UNABRIDGED) by Sarah Lean Narrated by Katy Sobey

    The Forever Whale

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Sarah Lean
    • Narrated By Katy Sobey
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    A shared story can last forever. Hannah's grandad loves telling stories from his past, but there's one that he can't remember…one that Hannah knows is important. When a whale appears off the coast, clues to Grandad's secret begin to surface. Hannah is determined to solve the mystery but, as she gets closer to the truth, Grandad's story is more extraordinary than she imagined.

  • Stick Dog Chases a Pizza (






UNABRIDGED) by Tom Watson Narrated by Andrew Eiden

    Stick Dog Chases a Pizza

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 43 mins)
    • By Tom Watson
    • Narrated By Andrew Eiden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Stick Dog and his furry friends are back! In this third hungry and hilarious adventure, Stick Dog and his pals are out for a pizza - if they can get one that is…a must-have for fans of Wimpy Kid and Big Nate. Stick Dog and his furry friends, Mutt, Stripes, Karen and Poo-Poo are back in another adventure! Everyone's favourite cartoon canines are hungry again - and this time it's pizza that has their mouths watering. But when it's Pizza on the go…can they chase it down?

  • Hell Hound Curse: Sammy Feral's Diaries of Weird, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Eleanor Hawken Narrated by Stephen Perring

    Hell Hound Curse: Sammy Feral's Diaries of Weird, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Eleanor Hawken
    • Narrated By Stephen Perring
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    To make some extra money for Feral Zoo, Sammy, Red and Donny decide to promote their cryptozoology business - investigating animals that don't exist. What could possibly go wrong? Everything! Hired to check out sightings of a ghost dog, the friends uncover the terrifying legend of the Hell Hound. Anyone who is seen by this terrible beast is struck with a death curse. So when Sammy's best friend Mark runs into the deadly dog, Sammy knows he doesn't have long to figure out how to save him!

  •  
  • Laguna the Lonely Mermaid (






UNABRIDGED) by Savannah Alatorre Narrated by Heidi Tabing

    Laguna the Lonely Mermaid

    • UNABRIDGED (5 mins)
    • By Savannah Alatorre
    • Narrated By Heidi Tabing
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Best-selling author Dan Alatorre sits down with his four-year-old daughter, Savannah Alatorre, and creates a story to capture the imagination of children everywhere! A lonely young mermaid must think of a creative way to rescue stranded pirates. By helping others, she makes new friends. Great for parents to listen to with preschoolers!

  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Other Stories: Ladybird First Favourite Tales: Ladybird Audio Collection (






UNABRIDGED) by Ladybird Narrated by Wayne Forester

    The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Other Stories: Ladybird First Favourite Tales: Ladybird Audio Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (33 mins)
    • By Ladybird
    • Narrated By Wayne Forester
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    Ladybird presents First Favourite Tales Audio, a fabulous collection of classic stories for toddlers, brought to life through the magic of audio. Produced with enchanting sound effects and lively music that will delight children, and introduce them to the world's most famous stories.

  • Detyam Ot 3 Do 7 Let. Rasskazyi Russkih Pisateley (






UNABRIDGED) by A. I. Kuprin, D. N. Mamin-Sibiryak Narrated by Mariya Babanova

    Detyam Ot 3 Do 7 Let. Rasskazyi Russkih Pisateley

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 1 min)
    • By A. I. Kuprin, D. N. Mamin-Sibiryak
    • Narrated By Mariya Babanova
    Overall
    (0)
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    A. I. Kuprin. Belyiy pudelD.N. Mamin-Sibiryak. Seraya sheyka.

  • Alisa dlya malyishey (






UNABRIDGED) by L. Kerroll Narrated by Alla Chovzhik, Vladimir Levashyov

    Alisa dlya malyishey

    • UNABRIDGED (51 mins)
    • By L. Kerroll
    • Narrated By Alla Chovzhik, Vladimir Levashyov
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Spustya chetvert veka posle pervogo izdaniya «Priklyucheniy Alisyi v Ctrane chudes» ee avtor Lyuis Kerroll pereskazal istoriyu pro Alisu dlya malyishey, kotoryie esche ne umeyut chitat sami.

  •  
  • Skazki I Rasskazyi Dlya Detey (






UNABRIDGED) by V. M. Garshin Narrated by Vyacheslav Gerasimov

    Skazki I Rasskazyi Dlya Detey

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By V. M. Garshin
    • Narrated By Vyacheslav Gerasimov
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    V sbornik voshli allegoricheskiy rasskaz «Krasnyiy tsvetok», «Skazka o zhabe i roze», basni-pritchi «To, chego ne byilo» i «Attalea princeps», v kotoryih zhivotnyie i rasteniya vedut sebya podobno lyudyam, i «narodnyiy» rasskaz «Signal».Nesmotrya na zhanrovoe raznoobrazie, vse eti proizvedeniya zatragivayut vechnyie, filosofskie temyi: borba dobra i zla, geroizm i sposobnost k samootdache, zhalost i sostradanie, krasota i stremlenie k schastyu.