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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.

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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
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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 julia's Bookshelf

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julia's greatest hits:
  • The Complete Wizard of Oz Collection: All 22 Stories

    "22 books in 10 files with NO list whatsoever!!"

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    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It's absolutely ridiculous --- they don't even tell you the names of the 22 books included anywhere! What is worse -- in order to find a book... you have to know to look for it... and then search the 10 downloads for the book you want. (Which I suppose you should psychically divine before scanning the 10 downloads to find it!! VERY UNPROFFESSIONAL, AUDIBLE!! The least you could do is list which stories are in which download!!


Tad Davis

Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 08-06-13 Member Since 2005
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  • "Nostalgic fairy tale, but at times ..."

    9 of 9 helpful votes

    What a pleasure it was to listen to this old story again. When I was a kid, I read it at least once a year, till I was in high school and "put away childish things." Dietz's easy-going story-telling style is perfectly suited to this book: you might just as easily be listening to tales of Lake Wobegon. He never quite loses the sense of innocence and child-like wonder that surrounds the story, but he captures the darker moments as well.

    And dark moments there are. The plot, such as it is, hinges on a murder in the graveyard, guilt, courage, and fear. Later, the man who committed the murder is overheard planning to kill the Widow Douglas as well - committing other outrages in the process. Tom and Becky are lost in the cave, facing a very real possibility of starving to death in the darkness.

    But Twain somehow manages to keep things in the realm of fairy tale; he was apparently storing up his harshest satire for the sequel.

    There are many wonderful readers of Twain on Audible - I'm not sure you can really go wrong with any of them. But Dietz's rendition of this story is one of the best.

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    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    The name "Tom Sawyer" is synonymous with the adventures of boyhood. Bold and clever, Tom gets into and out of trouble with an ease many listeners will envy. A story beloved by children, it also has relevance for adults. Twain's beloved classic of growing up in Midwest America is as popular today as when it was first published in 1876.

    Tad Davis says: "Nostalgic fairy tale, but at times quite dark"

What's Trending in Kids:

  • The Peter Rabbit Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Beatrix Potter
    • Narrated By Peter Batchelor
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    Beatrix Potter's most famous tales in one wonderful collection. Contains The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of Two Bad Mice, The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle,The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan, and many more!

    zilinying says: "Too fast for kid"
  • Alice in Wonderland

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lewis Carroll
    • Narrated By B.J. Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Alice begins her fantastic journey by following an unprecedented White Rabbit with a pocket watch. While in the topsy turvy world of Wonderland, Alice takes advice from a caterpillar and attends a mad tea party. She meets the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon, and participates in a ludicrous courtroom scene. Each character has its own charming voice, as B. J. Harrison delivers one of his most whimsical performances.

    Amazon Customer says: "Such a good narrator!!!"
  • The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
    (1385)
    Performance
    (755)
    Story
    (770)

    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
    (4)
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    (4)
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    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.

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  • Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (695)
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    (632)
    Story
    (628)

    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"
  • Rikki Tikki Tavi

    • ABRIDGED (35 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Curtis Sisco
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
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    (26)
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    A young mongoose protects his human family from two murderous cobras. English Nobel laureate Kipling's best story from The Jungle Book collection, "Rikki Tikki Tavi" has been adapted many times to film and television.

    Annette says: "Rikki Tikki Tavi"
  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (3409)
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    (1565)
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    (1599)

    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"
  • 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
    Overall
    (44)
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    (38)
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    (39)

    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!"
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  • Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Hamilton Wright Mabie
    • Narrated By Samantha Worthen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
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    (31)
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    (29)

    This volume contains a collection of fairy tales from a wide array of classical works. These immortal tales include "The Enchanted Stag", "Twelve Brothers", "Puss in Boots", "Jack and the Beanstalk", "The Princess and the Pea", "The Ugly Duckling", "The Light Princess", "Beauty and the Beast", "Hansel and Gretel", "Jack the Giant Killer", "The Second Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor", and "The Story of Aladdin, or the Wonderful Lamp".

    msamsara says: "Enjoyed it"
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Sally Lloyd-Jones
    • Narrated By David Suchet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
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    (112)
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    (115)

    In The Jesus Storybook Bible, every story whispers his name. It tells the story beneath all the stories in the Bible.

    Beth says: "A Wonderful Buy!!"
  • Stick Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 29 mins)
    • By Tom Watson
    • Narrated By Andrew Eiden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Meet Stick Dog - a new breed of hero! In his first adventure, Stick Dog and his friends embark on an epic quest to steal a hamburger. With hilarious illustrations and pitch-perfect humour, Stick Dog is a must-have for fans of Wimpy Kid and Big Nate. Stick Dog and his friends, Mutt, Stripes, Karen and Poo-Poo have caught the scent of hamburgers and what hungry stray could resist that lovely meaty waft?

  • Knight Quest: Time Hunters, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 50 mins)
    • By Chris Blake
    • Narrated By Oliver Hembrough
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    Join Tom on an incredible treasure hunt through time and battle history's mightiest warriors. The second book in a new time-travelling series - perfect for fans of Beast Quest. When ten-year-old Tom accidentally smashes a statue in a museum he releases Isis, a young Egyptian mummy who has been imprisoned for thousands of years. To break an ancient curse, the duo must travel back in time to find six hidden amulets - battling Gladiators, Knights, Greeks, Vikings, Pirates and Egyptian Warriors!

  • How to Catch a Star (10th Anniversary edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (7 mins)
    • By Oliver Jeffers
    • Narrated By Paul McGann
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    Celebrate the 10th anniversary of world-renowned author Oliver Jeffers' book, the much-loved How to Catch a Star! The publication of How to Catch a Star in 2004 heralded the arrival of a captivating new talent on the book scene. Now beloved by children all over the world, the book has achieved huge critical and commercial success.

  • Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Tom Watson
    • Narrated By Andrew Eiden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Stick Dog is back in his second hilarious and hugely illustrated adventure. This time he and his pals are hungry for hot dogs but they need a plan… A must-have for fans of Wimpy Kid and Big Nate. Everyone's favourite canine cartoon hero, Stick Dog is back! This time he and his friends, Mutt, Stripes, Karen and Poo-Poo are determined to snaffle themselves a delicious snack from the hot dog stand. But they are going to need a plan…

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  • Monster and Chips: Food Fright

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 40 mins)
    • By David O'Connell
    • Narrated By Oliver Hembrough
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    Meet the amazing monster customers and sample the foul-food served up daily at Fuzzby's diner - the third book in this innovative series from incredibly talented author, David O'Connell. Roll up, roll up… it's Chips for everyone at the Monster Fair. Joe works in a monster diner flipping squashed-frog burgers and serving the best soggy boggy sausage to the monster customers. Now he and his monster friends are off to cook at the monster fair. Has Joe got the stomach for the Big Squeal, and the Splodgem Dodgems?

  • The Twelve Brothers

    • UNABRIDGED (12 mins)
    • By The Brothers Grimm
    • Narrated By Kathy Verduin
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    What's it like to be a sister with 12 brothers? In this story it's pretty good, until she makes a mistake, and puts a spell on them for seven years, and she's speechless.... This story by the Brothers Grimm has an interesting spin, as told and acted by Kathy Verduin.

  • Elixir: A Covenant Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jennifer L. Armentrout
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Aiden St. Delphi will do anything to save Alex. Even if it means doing the one thing he will never forgive himself for. Even if it means making war against the gods.