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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
947
ratings
REVIEWS
369
289
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
421
0
  • "Charming children’s fantasy"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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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    Story

    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!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    More

    Peter Pan

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By J.M. Barrie
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (424)
    Performance
    (251)
    Story
    (255)

    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 Tina's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
274
 
Nibley, UT, United States 230 REVIEWS / 285 ratings Member Since 2007 21 Followers / Following 0
 
Tina's greatest hits:
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    "HAHA! Great narration..."

    Overall

    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.

  • Inkspell

    "Mixed thoughts, enjoyable story"

    Overall

    I had some mixed feelings about the narration. At first it really bothered me. As I listened more, I really was dragged into the story. Since the primary part of the audio is the storyline I tried to focus on what the characters were actually doing. As the story progressed I came to really enjoy the narration. I think the problem with this narration is it follows Lynn Redgrave. It is really hard to change from a woman to a man narrator when the characters stay the same.

    I am looking forward to InkDeath. It should help us wrap up a great story/series.

  • If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period

    "I thought this book was funny"

    Overall

    Amazing how adults can screw up kids lives. Anyway, while I don't believe these characters are 7th graders, I can believe they are teens. And they have certainly been dealt a bad hand in this game. Making the best of things is their way of life and I laughed considerably while they did this. I saw the plot coming long before it happened. If you like this book then you should get the Ariadne Meyers narrated books by
    Sarah Mlynowski. Start with Bras and Broomsticks. Not only will you laugh about being a teen again, but Ariadne Meyers was great.

    I enjoyed Francois Battiste in this book. I'll look for books he has narrated in the future.

Craig

Craig Bellbrook, OH, United States 09-01-11 Member Since 2007
HELPFUL VOTES
94
ratings
REVIEWS
204
89
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
76
0
  • "Rick is masterful with history and ..."

    9 of 9 helpful votes

    If you can get your kids to read these books then you are doing them a favor. These books are just plain fun but they also have many hidden treasures. The books have legends and history and ancient tales for them to read and maybe even remember. These are lessons that may creep up in school. These books have some fun mixed with knowledge. I cannot think of a better thing for a kid than to read for fun and accidentally learn something. The 30 Clues series is the same. Many historical and geographic facts mixed with a fun story.

    More

    The Throne of Fire: Kane Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Kevin R. Free, Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1875)
    Performance
    (1485)
    Story
    (1502)

    Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister, Sadie, have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven’t given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians. And now their most threatening enemy yet—the chaos snake Apophis—is rising.

    Craig says: "Rick is masterful with history and incrporation."

What's Trending in Kids:

  • The Giver (






UNABRIDGED) by Lois Lowry Narrated by Ron Rifkin

    The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
    (1883)
    Performance
    (1199)
    Story
    (1224)

    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.

    far_to_go says: "Annoying music"
  • 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
    (652)
    Performance
    (422)
    Story
    (426)

    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.

    Jill says: "Loved it!"
  • 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
    (316)
    Performance
    (236)
    Story
    (244)

    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!"
  • Percy Jackson's Greek Gods (






UNABRIDGED) by Rick Riordan Narrated by Jesse Bernstein

    Percy Jackson's Greek Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    "A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, 'Can we do this anonymously?' Because I don't need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week." So begins Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic - and sarcastic asides - to the classics.

    Gillian's Mommy says: "Interesting and funny"
  •  
  • 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
    Overall
    (987)
    Performance
    (894)
    Story
    (888)

    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"
  • Pollyanna (






UNABRIDGED) by Eleanor H. Porter Narrated by Rebecca Burns

    Pollyanna

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Eleanor H. Porter
    • Narrated By Rebecca Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    Pollyanna, an expert at her favorite "Glad Game" of always looking at the bright side in her numerous trials, is one of the most popular and enduring characters in all of children's literature.

    Joseph R says: "Redefining Pollyanna"
  • Messenger (






UNABRIDGED) by Lois Lowry Narrated by David Morse

    Messenger

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (178)

    Six years earlier, Matty had come to Village as a scrappy and devious little boy. Back then, he liked to call himself "the Fiercest of the Fierce." But since that time, Matty has grown almost into a man under the care of Seer, a blind man whose special sight had earned him the name. Now Matty hopes that he will soon be given his true name, and he hopes it will be Messenger. But strange changes are taking place in Village.

    A User says: "we'll remember this one forever!"
  • 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
    Overall
    (3577)
    Performance
    (955)
    Story
    (994)

    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!"
  •  
  • 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
    (3668)
    Performance
    (1807)
    Story
    (1843)

    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
    (3871)
    Performance
    (1884)
    Story
    (1920)

    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"
  • Tales from Witchway Wood: Crash 'N' Bang (






UNABRIDGED) by Kaye Unmansky Narrated by Veronika Hyks

    Tales from Witchway Wood: Crash 'N' Bang

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kaye Unmansky
    • Narrated By Veronika Hyks
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Filth is Witch Sludgegooey’s Fiend; Arthur the Dragon is precise, meticulous, and lives with his mum; and O’Brian is a Leprechaun who is often mistaken for a Pixie. These three very different characters have two things in common - the band they play in (The Witchway Rhythm Boys) and the music they play - Crash ‘n’ Bang - which nobody likes very much. But then The Thing in the Moonmad T-shirt becomes their manager and sets their sights higher - on the forthcoming music competition The Battle of the Bands.

  • Friends and Brothers (






UNABRIDGED) by Dick King-Smith Narrated by Stanley McGeagh

    Friends and Brothers

    • UNABRIDGED (58 mins)
    • By Dick King-Smith
    • Narrated By Stanley McGeagh
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    It's not easy having a younger brother, William finds. Especially one like Charlie who shows off, asks a million questions, and will say "absolutely" all the time. But when Charlie is in trouble, William is the first to come to the rescue. After all, they are friends and brothers.

  • The Vanishing of Billy Buckle: Wings & Co, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Sally Gardner Narrated by Simon Russell Beale

    The Vanishing of Billy Buckle: Wings & Co, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Sally Gardner
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Spot on the Fishcake! The famous fairy detective agency, Wings & Co, has a problem. Really quite a big problem. Well, a few of them actually. There's the missing giant, Billy Buckle, who has vanished without a trace, and left his giant daughter with the detectives. There's a surprise visit to the seaside, which uncovers a murder and a stolen diamond. And then there's that tricky business of the TV talent show. Squat on a squid, this is Emily, Buster and Fidget's most complicated case yet. Read by Simon Russell Beale.

  • Coby Collins: Marley Elementary Adventures, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Justin Johnson Narrated by Brian Allard

    Coby Collins: Marley Elementary Adventures, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 8 mins)
    • By Justin Johnson
    • Narrated By Brian Allard
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Coby Collins is a typical third grader. He goes to school, has friends, and hates peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that have been left in plastic all morning. Oh, and his teacher's evil and trying to destroy him! Listen and hear about Coby and his adventures with his best friend Antoine. Together, they try to get to the bottom of everything that's happening with a girl named Suzy Trudell and the teachers at Marley Elementary School.

  •  
  • The Dreadful Dragon (






UNABRIDGED) by Kaye Unmasky Narrated by Thomas Eyre

    The Dreadful Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Kaye Unmasky
    • Narrated By Thomas Eyre
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Ronald the Magnificent is the youngest wizard in the Wizards’ Club. The trouble is, he is not a very good wizard and all the others tease him terribly. They don’t even let him have his own chair. What Ronald needs is a pet so at least somebody is on his side. But pets are not allowed, so Ronald has to magic his pet up in secret. And when he does get his pet, it is not as easily controlled as Ronald would have liked. A very funny new book featuring wizards, fire-breathing, some misplaced magic and a lot of sausages!

  • The Summer I Held the Chisel (






UNABRIDGED) by Kathy May Davies Narrated by Lia Frederick

    The Summer I Held the Chisel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Kathy May Davies
    • Narrated By Lia Frederick
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Summer I Held the Chisel is told by Daisy Ryals, a young girl who relates the accounts of one summer in her life. The majority of the names, places, and events are real. Conversations and sequence of events are created in order to make the audiobook an adventure instead of a nonfiction account. It is a story about a family during the Great Depression, working and living during a difficult time in America's history.

  • The Princess and the Dolphin (






UNABRIDGED) by Dan Alatorre Narrated by Heidi Tabing

    The Princess and the Dolphin

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By Dan Alatorre
    • Narrated By Heidi Tabing
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    An amusing audiobook for children, The Princess and the Dolphin tells the story of a little princess who has a very special stuffed animal - that she loses somewhere in the castle! With help of her parents (the king and queen) and the family dog, they are off on a search. Persistence is important, as well as being resourceful, and working together.

  • Melika and the Magic Leaf (






UNABRIDGED) by Elihu Blotnick Narrated by Apple Butter

    Melika and the Magic Leaf

    • UNABRIDGED (14 mins)
    • By Elihu Blotnick
    • Narrated By Apple Butter
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The restaurant game, played with leaves for props, leads Melika to an artful mission: protecting the forest against a false spring.

  •  
  • The Complete Blot: The Adventures to Date of Mysterious Mr. Blot (






UNABRIDGED) by Elihu Blotnick Narrated by Elihu Blotnick, Apple Butter, Kiwi Butter, Mango Butter

    The Complete Blot: The Adventures to Date of Mysterious Mr. Blot

    • UNABRIDGED (33 mins)
    • By Elihu Blotnick
    • Narrated By Elihu Blotnick, Apple Butter, Kiwi Butter, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In Book One, Mr. Blot welcomes Pengwendolin into his home. Together they tamper with the weather. Blot's true nature is soon revealed, leading to more than one surprise. In Book Two, Mr. Blot's adventures with the weather produce a most unusual music and make Pengwendolin, his partner from Antarctica most, most famous. In the third book, Mr. Blot travels to the city in search of Lauren Lake. In the final book, Mr. Blot finds his inner weather in outer space.