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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
967
ratings
REVIEWS
373
289
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
426
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
    (12)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    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!"

    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
    (426)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (257)

    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
281
 
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.

Jefferson

Jefferson Fukuoka, Japan 02-05-11 Member Since 2010

I love listening to or reading books--especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, classics, & historical.

HELPFUL VOTES
156
ratings
REVIEWS
22
22
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
85
1
  • "Idyllic, Funny, Vivid Childhood Adv..."

    9 of 9 helpful votes

    This is an utterly charming audiobook! Arthur Ransome's story about the four Walker siblings ("Able Seaman" Titty being my favorite!) and the two "Amazon Pirate" girls and their idyllic adventures during a perfect August in 1929 sailing around a big lake in the Lake District and camping on Wild Cat Island in it is vividly, humorously, winningly told. Ransome is so good at capturing how kids play, with one half of their minds and hearts in fantasyland (pirates, explorers, the Pacific ocean, sharks, buried treasure, sea battles, walking the plank, deserted islands, etc.) and one half in the real world (making safe fires, cleaning fish and pots and pans, teaching a younger sibling how to swim, managing sailboats efficiently, etc.). He's so good at depicting how their thoughts and imaginations and hearts work! And his girls, especially Titty and Nancy, are at least as imaginative, bold, wild, and strong as the boys.

    I cringed at first when I heard the kids referring to the "natives" (locals) from the standpoint, I thought, of "civilized white explorers," but then it turned out to be their way of signifying killjoy adults who are too serious to enter into the kids' fantasy world and became a complex and interesting use of language.

    The reader, Alison Larkin, is perfectly suited to the book. She speaks clearly, thoroughly understands and feels what she's reading, slightly varies her voice for the different characters (from Ship's Boy Roger to Captain Flint), and speaks with infectious good humor and spirit, so that listening to Ransome's delightful text becomes a big smiling and chuckling pleasure.

    The book is also surprisingly moving (without being at all sentimental), as when, near the end, Mrs. Dixon, the local farm woman who has been supplying the kids with fresh milk every morning, says she'll miss them after they leave the lake the next day, and Titty says, "But we'll be back next year and every year after that for ever and ever," and Mrs. Dixon replies, "Aye

    More

    Swallows and Amazons

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Arthur Ransome
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (54)

    Swallows and Amazons, the book that started it all in 1930, introduces the Walker family, the camp on Wild Cat Island, the able-bodied catboat "Swallow," and the two intrepid Amazons, plucky Nancy and Peggy Blackett.

    Jefferson says: "Idyllic, Funny, Vivid Childhood Adventure-Play"

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
    Overall
    (715)
    Performance
    (476)
    Story
    (483)

    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!"
  • 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1981)
    Performance
    (1287)
    Story
    (1315)

    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
    Overall
    (1009)
    Performance
    (914)
    Story
    (909)

    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
    (335)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (262)

    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
    (19)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    "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"
  • 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
    (3691)
    Performance
    (1820)
    Story
    (1859)

    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"
  • 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
    (501)
    Performance
    (444)
    Story
    (446)

    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 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
    (3588)
    Performance
    (963)
    Story
    (1003)

    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!"
  •  
  • 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
    (276)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (192)

    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!"
  • Sit Still! (






UNABRIDGED) by Nancy Carlson Narrated by Khristine Hvam

    Sit Still!

    • UNABRIDGED (3 mins)
    • By Nancy Carlson
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Patrick has difficulty sitting still - until his mother comes up with a plan to help him.

  • The Closer: Young Readers Edition (






UNABRIDGED) by Mariano Rivera Narrated by Jon Curry

    The Closer: Young Readers Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Mariano Rivera
    • Narrated By Jon Curry
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Mariano Rivera never dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. He didn't grow up collecting baseball cards, playing Little League, or cheering on his home team at the World Series. He had never heard of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, or Mickey Mantle. But one day, that all changed...

  • The Chronicles of Prydain, Books 1 & 2: 50th Anniversary Introductory Collection (






UNABRIDGED) by Lloyd Alexander Narrated by James Langton

    The Chronicles of Prydain, Books 1 & 2: 50th Anniversary Introductory Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lloyd Alexander
    • Narrated By James Langton
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Taran, The Assistant Pig-Keeper, longs to be a hero. He begins his journey with a strange assortment of companions on a dangerous mission to save his beloved land, Prydain. Packed with action, humor, romance, and gallantry, Taran's adventures chronicle his beloved Prydain and his battle with the forces of evil.

  • Revealed: The Missing, Book 7 (






UNABRIDGED) by Margaret Peterson Haddix Narrated by Chris Sorensen

    Revealed: The Missing, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Margaret Peterson Haddix
    • Narrated By Chris Sorensen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    It’s morning as usual at the Skidmore household—until Charles Lindbergh, the famous historical pilot, appears in their living room. Jonah can hardly believe his eyes—and then Lindbergh grabs Katherine and vanishes again. And that’s not all. Chip, Andrea, and all the other children from the plane have disappeared too. And worst of all, Jonah’s parents and all the other adults in his town have de-aged into children. Jonah is the only one left, and the only one who can save everyone.

  • Bailey (






UNABRIDGED) by Harry Bliss Narrated by Kirby Heyborne

    Bailey

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By Harry Bliss
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Follow Bailey the dog as he gets ready and goes to school. Should he wear the red or blue collar? Both are so fashionable! Will he be late? That squirrel is a distraction! And what about Bailey's homework? Would you believe he ate it? That is what dogs do, after all.

  •  
  • Life on a Pirate Ship - for Kids! (






UNABRIDGED) by Captain Rumbeard Narrated by Alexander Edward Trefethen

    Life on a Pirate Ship - for Kids!

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By Captain Rumbeard
    • Narrated By Alexander Edward Trefethen
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    What was life really like on a pirate ship? Captain Rumbeard, the famous pirate (in his mind anyway) will take you through the truth and the lies about being a pirate and was life was like on a pirate ship. In this audiobook, we will aim to find out the real truth about pirates and their lives on their ships on the high seas.

  • The Graham Cracker Plot (






UNABRIDGED) by Shelley Tougas Narrated by Olivia Campbell

    The Graham Cracker Plot

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Shelley Tougas
    • Narrated By Olivia Campbell
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Meet Daisy Bauer and her sometimes best friend, Graham, who are determined to break Daisy's dad out of prison in this hilarious middle-grade debut. No one believes her, but Daisy Bauer knows her dad has been wrongfully imprisoned and that it's up to her to break him out of jail (aka Club Fed). She has a plan that she's calling the Graham Cracker Plot because it was all Graham's idea. She just needs a miniature horse, a getaway truck, and a penny from 1919 - the idea coin.

  • The 52-Storey Treehouse (






UNABRIDGED) by Andy Griffiths Narrated by Stig Wemyss

    The 52-Storey Treehouse

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 40 mins)
    • By Andy Griffiths
    • Narrated By Stig Wemyss
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Andy and Terry's incredible, ever-expanding treehouse has 13 new storeys, including a watermelon-smashing level, a wave machine, a life-size snake- and-ladders game (with real ladders and real snakes), a rocket-powered carrot-launcher, a Ninja Snail Training Academy, and a high-tech detective agency with all the latest high-tech detective technology, which is lucky because they have a big mystery to solve - where is Mr Big Nose? Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!

  • Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari: The Good News Shoes, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Jill Osborne Narrated by Jorjeana Marie

    Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari: The Good News Shoes, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jill Osborne
    • Narrated By Jorjeana Marie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    If you're gonna run for your life, you gotta wear the right shoes. Pre-teen shoe model Riley Mae laces up her flaming orange Sole Fire running shoes for another ad campaign - this time in Kenya, Africa! Kenya is the perfect place for runners to train, with its high elevation and encouragement from Olympic athletes. It's also a great hiding place for Riley and her Swiftriver friends from so-called enemies back in the United States - but for how long?

  •  
  • Island of Legends: The Unwanteds, Book 4 (






UNABRIDGED) by Lisa McMann Narrated by Steve West

    Island of Legends: The Unwanteds, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Lisa McMann
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    As Alex grows more confident in his role as the mage of Artimé, he expands his skills and brings his first creature to life - with results that are both painful and wonderful. A team from Artimé heads out to rescue Sky and Crow’s mother from underwater Pirate Island and discovers there are more creatures than they ever imagined in the ocean surrounding the islands - and not all of them are friendly.