Life is hard for Hans Brinker and his little sister, Gretel; they are dirt poor and their father is sick. When Hans saves up just a little money, he decides to pay his father's doctor instead of buy those skates he desperately wants. Mary Mapes Dodge's famous story paints a beautiful picture of Dutch life in the 19th century. It also teaches children a valuable lesson on generosity. Listening to John McDonough's performance is like sitting by the fire on a snowy day. His mature, warm voice and carefully placed pauses spark the listener's imagination. With McDonough's help, this fanciful best seller is accessible to a new generation of young people.
Can young Hans Brinker win the silver skates that are the only hope of saving his family from ruin? Hans and his little sister Gretel live in Holland, a colorful and exciting country of windmills and great canals. Unfortunately, the Brinkers are very poor and their father is ill, and Hans wonders whether they'll survive the long, harsh winter. Then he finds out about an ice skating race, and the prize - a pair of shiny silver skates - that might help his family survive. But the determined, devoted boy and his sister must overcome several nearly impossible challenges before the race even begins. This heartwarming children's classic provides a fascinating look at 19th century Dutch life, while inspiring millions of young people with its story of hard work, goodness, and family unity.
(P)1996 by Recorded Books, Inc.; Cover Art by Clara M. Burd, Reprinted by Arrangement with The Granger Collection, New York
This is an entertaining children's story, interrupted by long digressions on Dutch history and culture. This is one of the few occasions where I would have preferred an abridgement.
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