Written in 1867, The Magic Fishbone is one of Charles Dickens' best loved fairy tales for children. It tells the story of an impoverished King who can barely manage to keep his nineteen children, and it is a long time until pay day.
One day he meets a Fairy Godmother who tells him to give his eldest daughter, Princess Alicia, a piece of salmon, and after she has eaten everything but the bone, she is to dry and polish the bone carefully because it has magic powers. The magic fishbone will grant one wish - but only if it is used at the exact right time.
Various catastrophes befall the family, but Princess Alicia does not call upon the powers of the magic fishbone, much to her father's annoyance. Until finally one day, something happens which leaves her in no doubt that this really is the right time...
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When we first heard the narrator's voice, I thought it would be a dull listen. She speaks so slowly! But she's brilliant, and gives the characters such great, dry wit. My 10 y.o. daughter laughs each time we listen, and she asks for it again and again in the car. We quote the lines to each other ("No, indeed, Papa!") ("Will you be good, sir?!"). I had no idea Dickens had written such clever children's stories. Well-written, of course, but also charming and funny and slightly skewed. A great listen.
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