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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
    (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.

    More

    Peter Pan

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By J.M. Barrie
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (419)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (252)

    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
97
 
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.

Jay

Jay Vancouver, BC, Canada 08-05-13 Member Since 2013
HELPFUL VOTES
39
ratings
REVIEWS
73
24
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
4
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  • "A Beautiful Story"

    18 of 20 helpful votes

    This is a beautiful story. An amazing story for any youth to read. It could also teach a lot of adults a thing or two about empathy as well.

    I really like how a boy so 'ugly', could spread so much joy and love. Amazing overall.

    However, I must say that the choice to have the boy's voice read in a raspy whisper was an absolutely TERRIBLE choice. Why wouldn't they just use a normal young sounding male? It was extremely annoying, and it made him sound like a whiny baby. The writing wasn't bad at all, but the narration was just dreadful.

    Kate Rudd was amazing as always, and she saved the entire book for me. 5 star for her. 1 star for the other. 3 star overall.

    More

    Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (947)
    Performance
    (854)
    Story
    (848)

    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"

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
    (558)
    Performance
    (333)
    Story
    (337)

    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
    (1711)
    Performance
    (1040)
    Story
    (1065)

    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
    (947)
    Performance
    (854)
    Story
    (848)

    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"
  • 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
    (295)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (224)

    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 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
    (114)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (104)

    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
    (3621)
    Performance
    (1767)
    Story
    (1802)

    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 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
    (1945)
    Performance
    (1802)
    Story
    (1794)

    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"
  • 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
    (1633)
    Performance
    (751)
    Story
    (765)

    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
    (75)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (72)

    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
    (3790)
    Performance
    (1812)
    Story
    (1845)

    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"
  • George Speaks (






UNABRIDGED) by Dick King-Smith Narrated by Stanley McGeagh

    George Speaks

    • UNABRIDGED (45 mins)
    • By Dick King-Smith
    • Narrated By Stanley McGeagh
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    From master storyteller Dick King-Smith, this is the hilarious story of a family turned upside-down by an unusually gifted (and demanding) infant. Laura is amazed when her baby brother George starts talking to her when he's only four weeks old, particularly as he sounds like a grown-up! It's a big secret to keep from their parents and the rest of the family and leads to all sorts of comic confusion until George's first birthday - when he makes a speech to his startled family.

  • Silver Brumby Kingdom (






UNABRIDGED) by Elyne Mitchell Narrated by Caroline Lee

    Silver Brumby Kingdom

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Elyne Mitchell
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Dawn is swept away in a river, and Baringa must leave his other mares to find her. Unaware of this, Lightning wants Dawn more than ever, and he brings even more trouble to Quambat flat by stealing another of Stallion's mares. Thowra comes south to visit his beloved grandson, Baringa, only to hear tales of how Baringa has died fighting Bolder, a killer, and that Lighting seeks Dawn. What is the truth behind Baring's disappearance? Where is Dawn? And who will come out on top when an angry black stallion comes to Quambat flat seeking his mares?

  • The Secret of Weeping Wood (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert Swindells Narrated by Kris Dyer

    The Secret of Weeping Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Robert Swindells
    • Narrated By Kris Dyer
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Something's going on in Weeping Wood. There's an awful sound coming from deep in the woods, like ghostly babies crying. Time for The Outfit to investigate. But they'd better watch out. Because they're not the only people interested in Weeping Wood....

  • Memory Maze: The Hypnotists, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Gordon Korman Narrated by Ramon de Ocampo

    Memory Maze: The Hypnotists, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Gordon Korman
    • Narrated By Ramon de Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When Jackson Opus's identity as one of the most powerful young hypnotists in the world is leaked, he and his family are forced into hiding. But just as Jax settles into his new home - and new self - the unthinkable happens. Jax's enemies aren't the only ones in search of his mesmerizing skills. An organization more secretive, and more powerful than any in the world is out to find Jax, and it will take all of his hypnotic abilities to keep him and his family safe.

  •  
  • Guess How Much I Love You: Special Moments (






UNABRIDGED) by Sam McBratney Narrated by SLR Productions

    Guess How Much I Love You: Special Moments

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 19 mins)
    • By Sam McBratney
    • Narrated By SLR Productions
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    Based on the bestselling picture book which has sold more than 32 million copies worldwide, this gentle series is about the love and friendship between father and son. In these charming stories, Big and Little Nutbrown Hare and friends play and laugh as they explore the wonders of the natural world around them. Taken from the beloved TV series, this audio edition is the perfect bedtime companion for young children.

  • Wombat’s Musical Adventure: The Musical Adventures of Professor Anacrusis, Book 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by Chrissy Tetley Narrated by Mark Greasley

    Wombat’s Musical Adventure: The Musical Adventures of Professor Anacrusis, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Chrissy Tetley
    • Narrated By Mark Greasley
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    Wombat is looking for a musical instrument to play. But his real problem is to find one that is not too big and not too long. Not too difficult and not too tall. And not too heavy and not too loud. Assisted by Bundy the dog, Wombat begins to look at some musical instruments. But will he find one that is just the right size and shape for a little Wombat to play?

  • 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)
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    (0)
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    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.

  • 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)
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    (0)
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    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?

  •  
  • If I Were Oprah Winfrey: Little Nia's Dream (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Thornton Narrated by Hillary Hawkins

    If I Were Oprah Winfrey: Little Nia's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (28 mins)
    • By Charles Thornton
    • Narrated By Hillary Hawkins
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    If I Were Oprah Winfrey: Little Nia's Dream is an inspirational story about an elementary school girl that was inspired by Oprah Winfrey's to guide her own life for success. Bullied by another girl she finds a way to change her problem into something extraordinary.