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Robert

Robert Yamhill, OR, United States Member Since 2009

Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

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  • "My favorite book this year."

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    When I read reviewers write, “the best book I have ever read,” I thought yeah right! ‘must not have read many books. Well, I have read a fair bit myself and this is definitely one of the best written books I have ever read. I believe it is a book that one can read and reread and enjoy over and over and find something new in each reading of it. Not to be redundant, it is also one of the most fun and funniest I have ever read. It is a scholarly and even literary work, if you will. And yet, at the same time, the book is totally enchanting, witty and charming.

    The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table arose in the early Middle Ages, when England was just beginning to come under the influence of Christianity. When anyone retells the story, the author brings his own perspective to the tale of chivalry. Here T.H. White often appears to use the education of the young king Wart by Merlyn to educate the reader. While not in so many words, or maybe it is that: Merlin is a time-traveler. Not so much in the context of some science fiction novel but in his memory. Merlin is aware of past, present and the future. Certainly the author is aware of those times and uses those temporal events to tell his story. The book is in many ways a critique of mid-twentieth-century British culture. At first, things seem somewhat anachronistic but then we see that the narrator regularly references events and people in modern times to help tell his tale even more effectively.

    Both T.H. White’s The Once and Future King and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings were written in the shadow of World War II, and both reflect that context to some extent:

    “No. There is one fairly good reason for fighting - and that is, if the other man starts it. You see, wars are a wickedness, perhaps the greatest wickedness of a wicked species. They are so wicked that they must not be allowed. When you can be perfectly certain that the other man started them, then is the time when you might have a sort of duty to stop him.” (Merlyn)

    Not only is T.H. White’s The Once and Future King full of anachronistic references to places and events of modern times, but it also plays fast and loose with time within the framework of the novel itself. Given the references to the death of Uther Pendragon in 1216 and the appearance of Thomas Malory at the end of the story, Arthur would have lived from 1201-1485. In effect, what White does is telescope almost three hundred years of English history and social development into the backdrop of a single narrative.

    The book is long. But multiple versions of the story of King Arthur are considered within its covers so how short can it be? No, this is the best of several interpretations of the legend and it is not too long. While much of the book’s ending dwells on allegory, philosophy and social commentary, it is done with and eloquence and prose that is hard to compare with.

    One of the young reviewers of this book that I found tried to figure out the audience for for whom the author intended and concluded there were many. I agree:

    For children and young adults-
    “I have been thinking ... about Might and Right. I don’t think things ought to be done because you are able to do them. I think they should be done because you ought to do them.” (Arthur). One of the central themes of the book is War: Right and Might.

    On one level, both Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and T.H.
    White’s The Once and Future King are children’s stories, yet both novels contain very
    serious social commentary clearly intended for adults. Who could argue though that the social satire found in these novels detracts too much from the ability of children to enjoy them. Could a child appreciate all that is contained within TOaFK? Certainly not. However, there are many stories in this legend and many that target the child in all of us. One need not read this entire book though I am sure a lust will always remain to do so.

    No reviewer could possibly do justice to this book. How about some more of the author’s own words:

    On Wisdom-
    “The best thing for being sad ... is to learn something. That is the only thing that never
    fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then - to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.” (Merlyn)

    This is a story about great compassion-
    “If I were made a knight ..., I should insist on doing my vigil by myself, a Hob does with
    his hawks, and I should pray to God to let me encounter all the evil in the world in my own person, so that if I conquered there would be none left, and, if I were defeated, I would be the one to suffer for it.” (Wart)

    The author writes a great deal about the evolution of man-
    “Here, all you embryos, come here with your beaks and whatnots to look upon Our first
    Man. He is the only one who has guessed Our riddle, out of all of you, and We have great pleasure in conferring upon him the Order of Dominion over the Fowls of the Air, and the Beasts of the Earth, and the Fishes of the Sea. Now let the rest of you get along, and love and multiply, for it is time to knock off for the weekend. As for you, Man, you will be a naked tool all your life, though a user of tools. You will look like an embryo till they bury you, but all the others will be embryos before your might. Eternally undeveloped, you will always remain potential in Our image, able to see some of Our sorrows and to feel some of Our joys. We are partly sorry for you, Man, but partly hopeful.” (Badger)

    Much is written about human morality-
    “Morals ... are a form of insanity. Give me a moral man who insists on doing the right
    things all the time, and I will show you a tangle which an angel couldn’t get out of.” (Lionel)

    This title actually includes Books 1-5 of T.H. White’s magnum opus. It is not so much about world-building per se though there is enough of that. The book is more about us as humans and our nature... our intellectual, psychological, social and even political nature. The book is philosophical, satirical with even a little theology thrown in. Not too much; just the right amount. If it is action that ye seek, knockdown, drag out fighting, best look elsewhere. This is one more about relationships and different kinds of heroes.

    This is brilliant storytelling brilliantly read and performed. The narration by Neville Jason is as good as it gets. I could not recommend a book more highly.

    More

    The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    Performance
    (972)
    Story
    (966)

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
  • "A Classic"

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    While Ursula K. Le Guin wrote several novels about the fantasy world of Earthsea, A Wizard of Earthsea appears to be the first of the main cycle by that name. I found it difficult to pin down whether the series is written for children and/or adults. I concluded that while there are a number of philosophical themes that adults could appreciate, the target audience was probably that of a younger age. Let’s say YAs.

    Further, on the subject of age, this is basically the coming of age story of a young mage named Ged who is drawn to wizardry and develops into just that as the story unfolds. There’s much in the way of magic, spells and personal discovery along the way. However, as Ged learns, all of the power and might of of a wizard comes with a price. Wizardry is not for the faint-hearted nor is its magic lightly wielded by the ignorant or arrogant. Much of this is taught Ged by Ogion his primary mentor along with his own life’s little (and not so little) foibles in and around Earthsea. Does all this sound a bit familiar?

    The monster of the story we learn is… uh, not so fast. That would be a major spoiler. And I believe the book is worth reading to discover that as well as the other things Ged learns along his way through apprenticeship and personal discovery. The book is very straight forward. That appears to be Le Guin’s style. After recently reading a bunch of China Mielville prior to Earthsea, the latter was a refreshingly, relaxing read. However, we probably should not be fooled by her simplicity. Contained within the pages are a depth and breath that can be easily missed if we’re not paying attention. What can I say; it’s obviously a classic and who could not recommend that.

    More

    A Wizard of Earthsea: The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (560)
    Performance
    (408)
    Story
    (416)

    When Sparrowhawk casts a spell that saves his village from destruction at the hands of the invading Kargs, Ogion, the Mage of Re Albi, encourages the boy to apprentice himself in the art of wizardry. So, at the age of 13, the boy receives his true name - Ged - and gives himself over to the gentle tutelage of the Master Ogion. But impatient with the slowness of his studies and infatuated with glory, Ged embarks for the Island of Roke, where the highest arts of wizardry are taught.

    Finance Guy says: "Elegant & unique fantasy, deliciously performed"
  1. The Once and Future King
  2. A Wizard of Earthsea: The...
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A Peek at Amazon Customer's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
15
 
United States 17 REVIEWS / 18 ratings Member Since 2012 24 Followers / Following 0
 
Amazon Customer's greatest hits:
  • Magic Tree House Collection: Books 1-8

    "Fun!"

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    What did you love best about Magic Tree House Collection: Books 1-8?

    My 7 year old daughter loved to listen to these while playing lego's or dolls. Much better than having the tv going in the background. She loves the books and has read them and is now enjoying listening to them over and over.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Magic Tree House Collection: Books 1-8?

    The trip to prehistoric times was exciting and entertaining.


    Any additional comments?

    While reading is incredibly important listening and using the imagination is also. This gives the child a different way to use their imagination. Audible books are a great way to encourage development. I also appreciate that Mary Pope Osborne does not use slang. I have found other audible's hard to listen to as they are written in slang or as if a 5-6 year old were speaking. Hearing poor English sets up a pattern for poor speaking in a young mind. I love that this author and this audible did not make me cringe.

  • Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer

    "Enjoyable for adults and children"

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    If you could sum up Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer in three words, what would they be?

    Family Fun


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer?

    When Theodore struggled with fighting in school. He is not a fighter but struggled with the concept of sticking up for right vs wrong. A very real everyday struggle for children and adults.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Thomas – was your favorite?

    The uncle


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. Its a book that my daugther and I listen to together.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book that can be listened to as a family. The tv is off or in the car the radio is off. Conversation regarding characters and situations in the book follow.

  • Goosebumps HorrorLand, Book 1: Revenge of the Living Dummy

    "Good clean scary fun"

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    What made the experience of listening to Goosebumps HorrorLand, Book 1 the most enjoyable?

    My daughter got really caught up in the story. She was enthralled, a littled scared, a little grosed out and completely entertained.


    What other book might you compare Goosebumps HorrorLand, Book 1 to and why?

    Creep of the deep. But this one had a little extra something in it.


    What about Alissa Hunnicutt’s performance did you like?

    Fun.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The dummy was pretty frightening in its own way. At one point my daughter commented that she thought the book was too scary yet refused to stop listening. No nightmares as she stuck it out and the adventure was all explained. My daughter was engrosed in the story from the beginning. I think she is a bit young for the series but she was checking them out in the school library hiding and reading them so I allowed it. However if the child is easily frightened or does not understand that the stories are not real - this particular story might be one to wait on.


    Any additional comments?

    I appreciate that she can use her imagination and listen while playing or driving. Saves the parent from the annoying blabbering yellow character and pink friend on tv and creates dialogue. My husband and I enjoyed hearing them also. From an adult perspective they are a scream!

  • The Arctic Incident: Artemis Fowl, Book 2

    "Imaginative"

    Overall
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    Story
    If you could sum up The Arctic Incident in three words, what would they be?

    Fabulous


    What did you like best about this story?

    My husband and daughter enjoy listening to this story together.


    Have you listened to any of Nathaniel Parker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. The other Artis Fowl books.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. Its nice to look forward to hearing it.


    Any additional comments?

    Good fun for the family.

C. Telfair

C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 08-30-12 Member Since 2006

Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Really valuable information here"

    8 of 8 helpful votes

    Initially, I was disappointed that Kimberley Reynolds lacks the dynamic and conversational style that is so desirable in an Audible course.

    But, wait. The information packed into this set of lectures is so interesting and so valuable that I soon forgave, and actually came to like, the rather stiff delivery. This is a serious presentation of the history not only of children's literature but of the changing concept of childhood itself.

    Most of us choose books for our children based on what we have enjoyed ourselves, what we think will interest the kids and advance their reading skills, and on the pure entertainment value of the material. This course will likely not change that, but having a more scholarly foundation about the psychological and developmental benefits of reading for young people at different stages will offer a great advantage for parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians and others who help children choose appropriate books.

    The literature covered includes analysis of books for all ages of childhood, from infancy to young adult. When the subjects got a bit too esoteric for me (mostly in the YA lectures), I found the PDF study guide to be very helpful in deciding which lectures would interest me most. Although the analyses sometimes offer more detail than many of us ultimately want, I believe there is much general and particular information here that will be of interest and value to all parents and literature lovers.

    Another benefit is the timely nature of the course. Harry Potter is discussed, as are "The Hunger Games" series. Professor Reynolds touches on new technologies like digital and interactive books and the endless merchandise tie-ins which are peddled to children on the media. There's a bit near the end about the effects of tough economic times on youngsters. This is up-to-date stuff!

    More

    The Modern Scholar: Children's Literature: Between the Covers

    • ORIGINAL (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Kimberley Reynolds
    Overall
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    In the 21st century, many of the best-known and most influential stories have been conceived for juveniles. In "Children’s Literature", Professor Kimberley Reynolds of Newcastle University delves into the phenomenon and “golden ages” of this remarkably diverse literary genre. Throughout the lectures, Reynolds addresses questions of why children’s literature is so popular and how these extraordinary works have both responded to and helped to shape childhood.

    C. Telfair says: "Really valuable information here"

What's Trending in Kids:

  • The Peter Rabbit Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Beatrix Potter
    • Narrated By Peter Batchelor
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
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    (1)

    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!

  • Alice in Wonderland

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lewis Carroll
    • Narrated By B.J. Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (320)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (266)

    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!!!"
  • Rikki Tikki Tavi

    • ABRIDGED (35 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Curtis Sisco
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    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 Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
    (1382)
    Performance
    (752)
    Story
    (766)

    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.

  • 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)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (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 Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1740)
    Performance
    (1616)
    Story
    (1610)

    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.

    JT says: "Anne Hathaway Shines Throughout This Audio Edition"
  • Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (690)
    Performance
    (627)
    Story
    (623)

    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"
  •  
  • The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    Overall
    (3408)
    Performance
    (1564)
    Story
    (1598)

    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
    (3479)
    Performance
    (1538)
    Story
    (1566)

    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"
  • Elixir: A Covenant Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jennifer L. Armentrout
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
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    (1)

    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.

  • The Sing Song of Old Man Kangaroo

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Phillip J. Mather
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    The kangaroo once ambulated on four legs. This charming story by Rudyard Kipling, and wonderfully narrated by Phillip J. Mather tells us how the kangaroo became the marsupial we know today.

  • The Boundless

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Kenneth Oppel
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Will Everett has always wished for an adventure. Little does he know his adventure starts the moment he boards the Boundless. There is a murder, and now Will protects a key that can unlock the train¹s hidden treasures. Villains are fast on his heels and strange creatures are lurking outside the windows, as the Boundless hurtles across the country. Together with Maren, a gifted escape artist, and Mr. Dorian, a circus ringmaster with amazing abilities, Will must save the Boundless before someone else winds up dead.

  • How the Leopard Got His Spots

    • UNABRIDGED (14 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Phillip J. Mather
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Kipling’s timeless classic of How the Leopard Got His Spots is skilfully narrated by Phillip J. Mather. Phillip’s mellifluous tones transport the listener, young or old, back to a time when the world map was indeed coloured red!

  •  
  • Splat the Cat Makes Dad Glad

    • UNABRIDGED (7 mins)
    • By Rob Scotton
    • Narrated By Dan Bittner
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    When Dad's team loses a soccer game, Splat the Cat decides to cheer up his dad by entering them into a father-son three-legged race at the Cat School Game Day. When the race doesn't go the way Splat hopes, will he still succeed in making his dad glad again? Beginning listeners will love this hilarious addition to the Splat series that features the "-ad" sound!

  • Fancy Nancy: Sand Castles and Sand Palaces

    • UNABRIDGED (3 mins)
    • By Jane O'Connor
    • Narrated By Chloe Hennessee
    Overall
    (0)
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    Mom takes Fancy Nancy, JoJo, Bree, Freddy, and Frenchy to the beach! They spend the whole day building the most magnificent sand palace imaginable, but when the tide comes in, what will happen to their beautiful creation? Join Nancy as she discovers that the beach is full of spectacular surprises.

  • Otis and the Tornado

    • UNABRIDGED (9 mins)
    • By Loren Long
    • Narrated By Chris Sorensen
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    Otis the faithful farm tractor is frolicking in the meadow with his animal friends when an approaching tornado darkens the sky and threatens the farm. Rousing the animals for another game of follow-the-leader, Otis calmly guides them to the safety of a protected valley. But as the twister turns toward the barn, Otis hears the frantic bellowing of the bull, still locked in his pen.

  • When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm

    • UNABRIDGED (40 mins)
    • By Hannah Bonner
    • Narrated By Abigail McCue
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    If you think dinosaurs are cool, wait till you learn what covered Earth 430 million years ago. That’s long before dinos even existed. There wasn’t much on land - some really tiny plants and even smaller animals like millipedes and mites. But offshore life was another story. Six-foot-long relatives of modern scorpions roamed the open water, gobbling up smaller creatures. Fish were out there, too. There just weren’t many of them, and they were much different than today’s fish.

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  • Framed in France: Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (51 mins)
    • By Jeff Brown
    • Narrated By Vinnie Penna
    Overall
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    When Stanley Lambchop is asked to help catch an art thief in Paris, he's thrilled! Posing as a painting in the Louvre museum on a wall across from the famous Mona Lisa? - c'est magnifique! But Stanley soon grows bored - until he meets Etoile, an art student who shows him around the City of Light. Then when Stanley goes back to the museum, he soon realizes that the Mona Lisa looks…different. It's been switched for a fake!