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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.

    More

    Five Children and It

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By E. Nesbit
    • Narrated By Johanna Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    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!"

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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
    (421)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (253)

    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 Amanda's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
5
 
7 REVIEWS / 14 ratings 0 Followers / Following 0
 
Amanda's greatest hits:
  • The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

    "Entertainment for the whole family"

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    What did you love best about The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom?

    Hero's Guild to Saving your Kingdom was a book that my children LOVED, and my husband tolerated well as we travelled. I even caught him smiling and chuckling more often than he would dare to admit. There was plenty of clean humour that keeps parents entertained.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters all had such great personalities.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Our favorite scene was when the princes were imprisoned by the trolls.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The princes are not always so charming.


    Any additional comments?

    We have now nicknamed our children with the names of the princes. I think every family has a Gustav.

  • Magic Marks the Spot: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, Book 1

    "Very Nearly the Best Book of the Year"

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    Would you consider the audio edition of Magic Marks the Spot to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version. We enjoy audio books because we can enjoy them together as a family.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Magic Marks the Spot?

    Hillary's first sword fight as a pirate. She used all of her pirate training as well as a few tricks picked up at finishing school.


    What does Katherine Kellgren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I read to my children with voices, but I could never keep up with all of the passion of Kellgren. Every person was unique, but no one was so over the top that they were annoying. She had great energy that drove the story. I didn't want to stop the van and miss a minutes. I hope she narrates the rest of the series.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    When you are finished with finishing school, try piracy.


    Any additional comments?

    We loved this book. It is one of the best listens we have ever had. I thought it was an old plot, 'Girl forgoes high society for adventure." However, this story was very original and had more than enough plot twists to keep even parents engaged.

  • The Candymakers

    "Slow at first, but then we couldn't stop listening"

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    If you could sum up The Candymakers in three words, what would they be?

    Sugar, Teamwork, and Intrigue


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Candymakers?

    When we discovered someone was a spy.


    Any additional comments?

    We loved that we got to hear the story from everyone's point of view.

  • The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle

    "Worth the Wait"

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    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle again? Why?

    We will be listening to Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle. This series has been something everyone in our family of seven can agree on. Everyone laughs.

    We have two boys and three girls in the back seats, and with this book everyone was appeased. It was never deemed "Boy-y or Girly."


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle?

    When Briar Rose uses the Sword to win a battle of wills.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    Briar Rose. She is such a horrible person, yet Bronson makes her sound so unbelievable sarcastic you can't help but smile.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Storming a Castle?
    You and what army?


    Any additional comments?

    We definitely appreciated more of feminine leads. My girls are excited to be brave like the Princess Ella, Snow White, and Lila. Yet rough and tumble boys are totally engaged as well.

Deanna

Deanna Lake Dallas, TX 12-01-12

Say something about yourself!

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  • "Not For Sensitive Audiences"

    5 of 5 helpful votes

    May contain slight spoilers

    I probably should have researched this book a bit better before diving in. While I really enjoyed the story itself, and found it quite interesting I was not prepared for the amount of death and killing of ponies involved.

    This is a novel based on a real event, a particularly disastrous one; it is the story of an adventure to the south pole, two teams racing to have the glory of being the first man there. One man took dogs the other dogs and ponies. This was written from the point of view of a pony named James Pigg, first from his birth and all the way to his death and the many things that happened to him, primarily in the Arctic wasteland of the most southerly contenent .

    If you are sensitive about real accounts of animals and people dying or being shot to death, you may wish to consider researching the non-fiction story and then deciding whether this would be a good book for you. While I learened a lot from this book and found the story to be fun, it does not have a happy ending.

    More

    The Winter Pony

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Iain Lawrence
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble, Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In The Winter Pony, Iain Lawrence pens the mesmerizing tale of a young white Siberian pony who escapes a group of cruel masters only to enter the company of Englishman Robert Falcon Scott. Joining Scott’s men and their race to the South Pole, the pony is soon given a name, James Pigg, as he and the rest embark on a thrilling race to reach the bottom of the world - a race in which not everyone will survive.

    Deanna says: "Not For Sensitive Audiences"

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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (560)
    Performance
    (335)
    Story
    (339)

    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.

    Jennifer says: "Great story about life flashing before your eyes"
  • The Giver (






UNABRIDGED) by Lois Lowry Narrated by Ron Rifkin

    The Giver

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lois Lowry
    • Narrated By Ron Rifkin
    Overall
    (1713)
    Performance
    (1042)
    Story
    (1067)

    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..."
  • Pollyanna (






UNABRIDGED) by Eleanor H. Porter Narrated by Rebecca Burns

    Pollyanna

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Eleanor H. Porter
    • Narrated By Rebecca Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    Pollyanna, an expert at her favorite "Glad Game" of always looking at the bright side in her numerous trials, is one of the most popular and enduring characters in all of children's literature.

    Joseph R says: "Redefining Pollyanna"
  • Wonder (






UNABRIDGED) by R. J. Palacio Narrated by Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd

    Wonder

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By R. J. Palacio
    • Narrated By Diana Steele, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (949)
    Performance
    (856)
    Story
    (850)

    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 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
    (3543)
    Performance
    (927)
    Story
    (962)

    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!"
  • How to Train Your Dragon (






UNABRIDGED) by Cressida Cowell Narrated by David Tennant

    How to Train Your Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (77)

    Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.

    melrailey says: "Terrific Fun!"
  • 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
    (3623)
    Performance
    (1768)
    Story
    (1803)

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

    Teddy says: "Fun KIDS Book"
  • The Neverending Story (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Ende Narrated by Gerard Doyle

    The Neverending Story

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Michael Ende
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (106)

    In this classic fantasy novel from author Michael Ende, small and insignificant Bastian Balthazar Bux is nobody's idea of a hero, least of all his own. Then, through the pages of an ancient, mysterious book, he discovers the enchanted world of Fantastica, and only Bastian himself can save the fairy people who live there. Shy, awkward Bastian is amazed to discover that he has become a character in the mysterious book he is reading and that he has an important mission to fulfill.

    James says: "So much better than the movie"
  •  
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (






UNABRIDGED) by L. Frank Baum Narrated by Anne Hathaway

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1949)
    Performance
    (1806)
    Story
    (1797)

    One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

    Thug4life says: "Great for family car ride"
  • 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
    (296)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (224)

    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!"
  • George Speaks (






UNABRIDGED) by Dick King-Smith Narrated by Stanley McGeagh

    George Speaks

    • UNABRIDGED (45 mins)
    • By Dick King-Smith
    • Narrated By Stanley McGeagh
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    From master storyteller Dick King-Smith, this is the hilarious story of a family turned upside-down by an unusually gifted (and demanding) infant. Laura is amazed when her baby brother George starts talking to her when he's only four weeks old, particularly as he sounds like a grown-up! It's a big secret to keep from their parents and the rest of the family and leads to all sorts of comic confusion until George's first birthday - when he makes a speech to his startled family.

  • Silver Brumby Kingdom (






UNABRIDGED) by Elyne Mitchell Narrated by Caroline Lee

    Silver Brumby Kingdom

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Elyne Mitchell
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Dawn is swept away in a river, and Baringa must leave his other mares to find her. Unaware of this, Lightning wants Dawn more than ever, and he brings even more trouble to Quambat flat by stealing another of Stallion's mares. Thowra comes south to visit his beloved grandson, Baringa, only to hear tales of how Baringa has died fighting Bolder, a killer, and that Lighting seeks Dawn. What is the truth behind Baring's disappearance? Where is Dawn? And who will come out on top when an angry black stallion comes to Quambat flat seeking his mares?

  • K for Klara 3: Kys mig nu! [K for Klara 3: Kiss Me Now!] (






UNABRIDGED) by Line Kyed Knudsen Narrated by Marie Nørgaard

    K for Klara 3: Kys mig nu! [K for Klara 3: Kiss Me Now!]

    • UNABRIDGED (23 mins)
    • By Line Kyed Knudsen
    • Narrated By Marie Nørgaard
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Klara og hendes veninder leger kysseleg i puderummet sammen med drengene. Klara vil gerne kysse med Lukas. Og selvfølgelig ikke med tungen, som Julie gør. Men pludselig vil Store-Anders være med, og så synes Klara ikke, det er sjovt længere ...Dette er den tredje bog i serien om Klara og hendes veninder.

  • Memory Maze: The Hypnotists, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by Gordon Korman Narrated by Ramon de Ocampo

    Memory Maze: The Hypnotists, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Gordon Korman
    • Narrated By Ramon de Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    When Jackson Opus's identity as one of the most powerful young hypnotists in the world is leaked, he and his family are forced into hiding. But just as Jax settles into his new home - and new self - the unthinkable happens. Jax's enemies aren't the only ones in search of his mesmerizing skills. An organization more secretive, and more powerful than any in the world is out to find Jax, and it will take all of his hypnotic abilities to keep him and his family safe.

  •  
  • The Secret of Weeping Wood (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert Swindells Narrated by Kris Dyer

    The Secret of Weeping Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Robert Swindells
    • Narrated By Kris Dyer
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Something's going on in Weeping Wood. There's an awful sound coming from deep in the woods, like ghostly babies crying. Time for The Outfit to investigate. But they'd better watch out. Because they're not the only people interested in Weeping Wood....

  • Favorite Children's Stories, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Brothers Grimm, Ruth Stiles Gannet, Edith Howes, Abbie Phillips Walker, Rydyard Kipling Narrated by Cindy Hardin Killavey, Kevin Killavey, Justin Lerman, Walter Covell, Jim Roberts

    Favorite Children's Stories, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Brothers Grimm, Ruth Stiles Gannet, Edith Howes, and others
    • Narrated By Cindy Hardin Killavey, Kevin Killavey, Justin Lerman, and others
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    The third volume of this popular series includes 23 classic stories from popular authors such as the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, and L. Frank Baum.

  • Guess How Much I Love You: Special Moments (






UNABRIDGED) by Sam McBratney Narrated by SLR Productions

    Guess How Much I Love You: Special Moments

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 19 mins)
    • By Sam McBratney
    • Narrated By SLR Productions
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Based on the bestselling picture book which has sold more than 32 million copies worldwide, this gentle series is about the love and friendship between father and son. In these charming stories, Big and Little Nutbrown Hare and friends play and laugh as they explore the wonders of the natural world around them. Taken from the beloved TV series, this audio edition is the perfect bedtime companion for young children.

  • The Mystery Cruise: The Boxcar Children Mysteries, Book 29 (






UNABRIDGED) by Gertrude Chandler Warner Narrated by Tim Gregory

    The Mystery Cruise: The Boxcar Children Mysteries, Book 29

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 51 mins)
    • By Gertrude Chandler Warner
    • Narrated By Tim Gregory
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    The Aldens are on a cruise in the Caribbean! No sooner has the cruise begun than things start to go wrong. The ship’s radio breaks. It appears someone has fallen overboard - but it turns out to be a false alarm. And then there’s engine trouble! Is someone deliberately tampering with the ship? It’s a mystery - good thing the Boxcar Children are on board!