It's 1953, the year Elizabeth is to be crowned Queen of England. Elsie Kettle can't wait to go to London with her beloved nan to see the Coronation Day celebrations. Then tragedy strikes. Nan and Elsie both fall ill with tuberculosis and Elsie is whisked away to the children's ward of Miltree Hospital. Confined to bed for months, Elsie misses Nan desperately, and struggles to adapt to the hospital's strict rules.
But every night after lights-out she tells magical tales of adventure to the other children on the ward. For the first time, Elsie finds herself surrounded by true friends - including Queenie, the hospital's majestic white cat. Finally, Elsie is well enough to leave the hospital. But before she does, she has one very special, very unexpected visitor....
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©2013 Jacqueline Wilson (P)2013 AudioGO Ltd
My 9 year old daughter loves this audiobook and has listened to it over and over gain. She is a fan of Jaqueline Wilson and previously wouldn't listen to one of her audiobooks unless it was narrated by the author. Finty Williams has changed her mind - this is definitely her favourite by far.
This story does not work properly as there is some missing. Was unable to listen to all the story.
"Promising start, but went downhill."
I have been a fan of Jacqueline Wilson since I was the target age for the stories. Now I am in my twenties and still enjoy listening to them, but I fear the author is succumbing to "quantity over quality". Finty Williams is a good narrator and gives a good voice to the character, but despite this, the story still comes over as largely bland.
The start of this story was promising, but once the main plot kicked in, I quickly began to lose interest. The story is named for the cat that features, but actually, the cat itself doesn't seem to appear all that often, and when it does, it doesn't bring much, if anything, to the story.
Wilson seems to fall back on using the same things in numerous stories. With this book being set in the fifties, we are spared the seemingly obligatory name-dropping of Disney/Pixar films and pop stars, but we still get the long-winded side-story of the main character becoming a storyteller. This has featured in several of Wilson's stories and in this one, it gets so long-winded that I found myself asking, "who proof-read this?". A little tale-spinning is fine, but huge sections of this story are taken up by fanciful stories told by Elsie, the main character, that actually have no bearing on the plot at all. These could be taken out and the story would be far shorter and still read the same. I've found abridged versions of Wilson's story to be sloppily edited in the past, so I stick to the full stories, but here an abridged version would do just as well.
Suitable, clear, engaging.
This story didn't inspire me to do anything, other than write this review.
I believe Jacqueline Wilson would do well to keep her stories based in the "present day". Although she has first-hand knowledge of the fifties, she doesn't seem able to apply it in a very engaging way to her style of writing.
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