The island kingdom of Rotundia is normal in every way but one - all the animals are the wrong sizes. And when a purple dragon finds its way to the island and desires the princess as a birthday present, young Tom the garderners son, along with his lap dog sized elephant Fido, must find a way to save her. Edith (E.) Nesbit was a master at weaving imagination and real life into timeless fairy tales, with fantastic mythical creatures, princes and princesses, magic, and just the right touch of silliness. Uncle James (or The Purple Stranger) is the second in a series of fairy tales with a common theme: Dragons! For children from five to 95, these stories are not to be taken seriously. Let your imagination run wild!!
Public Domain (P)2014 Karen Krause
Yes, if they had kids. This is the kind of story kids, esp elementary school level, will eat up.
Two things: 1. There was a bit more of a modeling of good behavior in this book, which is important in kids stories and lent more contrast to the villain. 2. The princess was clever, which I appreciated.
Karen does a really nice job of differentiating her characters. You really never have any trouble telling who is who.
My 6 year old really enjoyed this a lot. If you have kids, this is well worth the listen. Adults may find the story itself to be a bit too much below their level but it's really geared, in my opinion, for the younger audiences.
Uncle James, or The Purple Stranger, is a story about an ordinary boy named Tom and Mary Anne, who is the princess on the island kingdom of Rotundia. On this island everyone is kind and generous and all animals are the wrong size. Tom and Mary Anne have been childhood sweethearts and one day would like to wed. Uncle James is a magician and has designs on the throne, so he unleashes a purple dragon on Rotundia to get rid of Mary Anne. It is the dragon's birthday and he would like the princess as a birthday present. The rest of the story centers on Tom finding a way to save Mary Anne.
Karen Krause’s narration is excellent. She gives each character their own distinct voice and she seamlessly switches between genders and characters with ease. It is hard to believe that this story was written by Edith Nesbit over 100 years ago as it sounds like one written in contemporary times. In short, this story is a lot of fun, and recommended for anyone who enjoys fun witty stories, especially those involving dragons.
Take a look it's in a book...Reading Rainbow!
This is a fun adorable read for kids. I fondly recall reading these in much younger days and this was a happy revisit.
The story is a simple fantasy with plenty of fun elements. It is enchanting from beginning to end. I read this with my 6 year old niece, and she was enthralled! These are such lovely stories with rich characters and creative situations.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Karen Krause, who is delightful. She has a nice steady pace that moves with the story. I love her accent, it is like having your own British nanny to read to you! She was inventive and fun with the character voices. I imagine she would we just as wonderful in person at a children's story hour! I delight for my ears!
Disclosure - I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thought, opinions and ratings are my own.
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