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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
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    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
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    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
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    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 twyla's Bookshelf

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58 REVIEWS / 73 ratings 3 Followers / Following 0
 
twyla's greatest hits:
  • Escape from the Carnivale: A Never Land Adventure

    "Love the Peter Pan series, this one was just OK"

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    I have a collection of the Peter Pan books that my son and I have listened to or read. We enjoy them. This one was very short. It was entertaining but compared to the others it was just ok. Good, but not Great.

  • Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans

    "Good Listen, Entertaining and Informative"

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    The idea of this book was very creative. Rush is a decent narrator. You are entertained and informed all at the same time. Enjoyed listening with my 12 year old son. He was impressed. Recommend

  • The Boxcar Children Collection: The Boxcar Children (Book 1), Surprise Island (Book 2), The Yellow House Mystery (Book 3)

    "Love these on Audio - Great stories!"

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    Had a great time listening to these stories with my 11 yr old son. I read all of these as a child and enjoyed hearing them all over again! Good books.

  • Joe Sherlock, Kid Detective Audio Collection

    "12 Year old Son - gives this 2 thumbs up!"

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    My son listened to this and he enjoyed it. He gave it 2 thumbs up.

keynotes

keynotes 01-23-05 Member Since 2003
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Fun!"

    5 of 5 helpful votes

    This book was just fun to listen to. It was fast moving and I totally enjoyed the different character voices, it made them more realistic that way.

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    The Monsters of Morley Manor

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Bruce Coville
    • Narrated By Leslie Noble, the Full Cast Family, Featuring Bruce Coville as Gasper Morely
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    Monsters, aliens, ghosts, giant frogs, and a tragic angel are just some of the ingredients of this madcap adventure that is quite possibly Bruce Coville's strangest novel yet. Bruce himself appears on this recording as Gaspar Morley, head of a strange family of monsters that draw Anthony (our narrator) and his little sister Sarah into a galaxy - spanning adventure with the very souls of Earth's dead at stake.

    keynotes says: "Fun!"

What's Trending in Kids:

  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
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    (738)
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    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.

    Stephanie says: "Awesome story, suspenseful, lots to think about!"
  • Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Payne (translator)
    • Narrated By Bernard Cetaro Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
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    (3)
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    (3)

    The original story of Aladdin is a Middle-Eastern folk tale. It concerns an impoverished young man named Aladdin. He is recruited by a sorcerer from the Maghreb, who passes himself off as the brother of Aladdin's late father and convinces Aladdin and his mother of his goodness by making arrangements to set up the lad as a wealthy merchant. His real motive is to persuade young Aladdin to retrieve a wonderful oil lamp from a booby-trapped magic cave.

  • If I Stay

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gayle Forman
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (421)
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    (211)
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    (210)

    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 (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (674)
    Performance
    (613)
    Story
    (609)

    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"
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  • Rush Revere and the First Patriots: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Rush Limbaugh
    • Narrated By Rush Limbaugh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    Nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has long wanted to make American history come to life for the children of his listeners. In Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, he created the character of a fearless middle-school history teacher named Rush Revere, who travels back in time and experiences American history as it happens, in adventures with exceptional Americans. In this second book in the series, Rush Revere is transported back to the people and events leading up to the American Revolution.

    Deborah Gunnlaugsson says: "Over the top!"
  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (3399)
    Performance
    (1556)
    Story
    (1590)

    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 (23 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Paolini
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3456)
    Performance
    (1517)
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    (1543)

    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 Titan's Curse: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2082)
    Performance
    (1046)
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    (1056)

    When Percy Jackson receives an urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle. He knows he'll need his powerful demigod allies, Annabeth and Thalia, at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and...a ride from his mom.

    Craig says: "Percy's not just for kids"
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  • 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
    (3411)
    Performance
    (821)
    Story
    (852)

    Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch.

    Caitlin says: "Great audiobook!"
  • A Wrinkle in Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Madeleine L'Engle
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (399)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (356)

    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"
  • Journey to Rainbow Island

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Christie Hsiao
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Burnet
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    Yu-ning thinks her perfect life on Rainbow Island will never end -- until a nasty dragon called the Obsidigon returns from beyond the grave. Now her beloved island is in flames, her best friend has been kidnapped, and the island's Sacred Crystals have been stolen. To make matters worse, she must venture into the dark corners of the world to uncover secrets best ignored, find a weapon thought long destroyed, and recapture seven sacred stones -- without being burned to a crisp by a very angry dragon.

  • The Angel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 mins)
    • By Hans Christian Andersen
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
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    A touching story of the moments following the death of a child. Comfort, memories, and a visual reminder of life here follows a young boy on his journey. What may be most compelling is his angelic companion. A classic fairy tale from Hans Christian Andersen narrated by Glenn Hascall.

  • Once Upon a Midnight Eerie: The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Gordon McAlpine
    • Narrated By Arte Johnson
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    In The Tell-Tale Start, Edgar and Allan Poe (great-great-great-great-grandnephews of the legendary Edgar Allan Poe) managed to outwit the nefarious Professor P. Pangborn Perry, who was (and is) determined to kill just one of them, in order to prove a mad scientific theory. Now the boys are in New Orleans, about to play the young Poe in a feature film. But the role may cost them their lives, because now someone else wants them dead. But who? And can the twins - with the help of their co-stars, Em and Milly Dickinson, their ghostly forebear, and a pair of real ghosts - manage to outwit them?

  • Bone Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Annette Drake
    • Narrated By Darryl Hughes Kurylo
    Overall
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    (0)
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    Eleven-year-old Josey Miller knows two things: it's her fault Mama left, and she will do anything to coax her back. When Mrs. Casey, the new music teacher, starts a band at Bennett Springs Middle School, Josey sees it as her chance to finally belong to something and convince Mama to visit for her concerts. The only problem: there's no money for a clarinet, what with Dad laid off and fighting to keep their farm. But things start looking up when Grandpa Joe gives Josey an old trombone to play, and Mr. McInerny starts boarding his high-dollar Arabian stallion with Dad.

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  • Meketaton

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 52 mins)
    • By Pepa Mayo
    • Narrated By Jose Díaz Meco
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    (0)
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    Meketatón y la maldición de la momia Hetepet. La protagonista de nuestra historia , se llama Meketatón y es la hija del faraón. Tiene sólo 10 años y es la segunda de 6 hermanas. A Meketatón le encantan los misterios y un día su criada Nut le cuenta como unos pastores han descubierto a la entrada de la cueva un papiro con el grabado de una hiena y un buitre y parece ser que el papiro ha salido de la tumba de Hetepet un noble egipcio al que el abuelo de Meketatón ordenó ejecutar.

  • The Doll Maker: A Weirdville Book

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 13 mins)
    • By Majanka Verstraete
    • Narrated By Miriam Blum
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    Derek’s little sister wants one of those creepy-looking dolls staring at him from the strange new doll shop in town, and what his sister wants, she gets. Now they’re stuck with a doll that looks so human, it gives Derek the creeps. When Derek tells his friends, Martin and Jamie, about the new shop with creepy human-like dolls, they want to see for themselves. That has “bad idea” written all over it, but he takes his friends there anyway.

  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Frank Cottrell Boyce
    • Narrated By David Tennant
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    When the Tooting family finds an old engine and fits it to their camper van, they have no idea what kind of adventure lies ahead. The engine used to belong to an extraordinary car, and it wants its bodywork back! But as the Tootings hurtle across the world rebuilding the original Chitty, a sinister baddie is on their trail - one who will stop at nothing to get the magnificent car for himself.

  • The Last Unicorns

    • UNABRIDGED (4 mins)
    • By Edward D. Hoch
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
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    A pair of unicorns has been spotted and one young man is intent on buying them from the old man. The pair were purchased in Africa and brought to the region as beasts of burden and for breeding purposes. Will the young man be successful - or turned away? An interesting fictional twist on a familiar tale. Narrated by Glenn Hascall.