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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.

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    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 John Reader's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
42
 
6 REVIEWS / 45 ratings Member Since 2004 1 Followers / Following 1
 
John Reader's greatest hits:
  • Noah Zarc: Cataclysm: Noah Zarc, Book 2

    "Even better than the first!"

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    Performance
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    What the author did with time travel was very creative. I'll never look at time travel the same way again. It's not confusing, just very very well done. And how he was able to take a book written in the first person and give you views that weren't from the main character's perspective was very crafty.

    The author laid very nice ground work in book one, but this book is where the series really shines. A great story with great characters.

    Two thumbs up and five stars all around.

  • Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble

    "A wonderful sci-fi ride"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'll admit I was hesitant about getting this. I usually listen to books aimed at higher age levels and not for young kids/teens.

    But there is excellent storytelling here. And it's done very well without all the usual violence found in some novels.

    The main character, Noah, is very likable. The narrator does a wonderful job giving him life (as well as the other characters). Mr. Pease created a fascinating futuristic world that is both complex yet easy to understand.

    There are many surprises and a twist of an ending that is shocking as well as heartwarming (True, an odd combination. But it works very well.)

    Well worth the credit.
    I think pretty much everyone can enjoy this.
    I sure did!

Michael

Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 02-17-14 Member Since 2002

I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

HELPFUL VOTES
2781
ratings
REVIEWS
1374
384
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
843
9
  • "A good bedtime story for the very y..."

    2 of 2 helpful votes

    The synchronized illustrations worked great on the iPhone and iPad. This is a very nice little bedtime story with very nice illustrations and very simple bedtime focused story. I personally like a bedtime story with a bit more of a message, nevertheless this is an excellent book for a sleepy child, particularly one who has been having bad dreams, or is scared of the monster in the closet. The narration is wonderful as are the illustrations that are displayed as the story plays. NOTE this is only 5 minutes and 69 cents so don’t use a book credit!

    More

    Goodnight Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (5 mins)
    • By Margaret Wise Brown
    • Narrated By Buffy Allen
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (93)

    A little rabbit is lulled to sleep surrounded by all that he knows and loves best in the great green room of his house.

    Allison says: "Enhanced Format"

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
    (1634)
    Performance
    (976)
    Story
    (997)

    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
    (509)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (288)

    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
    (893)
    Performance
    (806)
    Story
    (798)

    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
    (3582)
    Performance
    (1726)
    Story
    (1763)

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

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






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

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

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3515)
    Performance
    (905)
    Story
    (939)

    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!"
  • 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
    (3731)
    Performance
    (1756)
    Story
    (1786)

    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 Battle of the Labyrinth: Percy Jackson, Book 4: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4 (






UNABRIDGED) by Rick Riordan Narrated by Jesse Bernstein

    The Battle of the Labyrinth: Percy Jackson, Book 4: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2036)
    Performance
    (1077)
    Story
    (1098)

    Percy Jackson isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.

    Felicity says: "The best of Percy Jackson series."
  • 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
    (1891)
    Performance
    (1752)
    Story
    (1744)

    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"
  •  
  • A Wrinkle in Time (






UNABRIDGED) by Madeleine L'Engle Narrated by Hope Davis

    A Wrinkle in Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Madeleine L'Engle
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (396)
    Story
    (397)

    Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course, and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a "tesseract," which, if you didn't know, is a wrinkle in time. Meg's father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?

    Patricia says: "Thank You for a New Narrator"
  • The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero (






UNABRIDGED) by Rick Riordan Narrated by Joshua Swanson

    The Heroes of Olympus, Book One: The Lost Hero

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Joshua Swanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2296)
    Performance
    (1438)
    Story
    (1462)

    After saving Olympus from the evil Titan lord, Kronos, Percy and friends have rebuilt their beloved Camp Half-Blood, where the next generation of demigods must now prepare for a chilling prophecy of their own.... In a brand-new series from blockbuster best-selling author Rick Riordan, fans return to the world of Camp Half-Blood. Here, a new group of heroes will inherit a quest. But to survive the journey, they'll need the help of some familiar demigods.

    Matthew says: "Great Book, The Narrator Was Alright"
  • El cuento de la tarta y el molde [The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan] (






UNABRIDGED) by Beatrix Potter Narrated by Marina Clyo

    El cuento de la tarta y el molde [The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan]

    • UNABRIDGED (14 mins)
    • By Beatrix Potter
    • Narrated By Marina Clyo
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Costillitas que era una gatita muy educada y había invitado a tomar el té a su amiga Duquesa una perrita muy elegante. Pero Duquesa no estaba muy segura de aceptar la invitación porque creía que su amiga le iba hacer una tarta de ratones, ¡ y no le gustaban nada !Al final Duquesa aceptó la invitación. Pero para asegurarse que podían comer algo que le gustara empezó a preparar una tarta de jamón, con la intención de cambiarla por la tarta de ratones. ¿Y qué creéis que pasó?

  • Kingdom of the Last Dragons: The Farloft Chronicles, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Theresa Snyder Narrated by Mary Sibulsky

    Kingdom of the Last Dragons: The Farloft Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 55 mins)
    • By Theresa Snyder
    • Narrated By Mary Sibulsky
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Healer, Theresa, has returned to the Kingdom after a 10-year journey to the Far East. She brings with her new knowledge of healing and spells unlike anything the Kingdom has seen in the past. James is learning how to fly, which isn't easy, even with newly sprouted dragon wings. Farloft is trying his best to teach James what he needs to know to survive in his new role as a young dragon. But everything will not be all star-fire and smooth dragon flight.

  • 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)
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    (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.

  • 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)
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    (0)
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    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.

  • 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)
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    (0)
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    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.