Four Children and it (BBC Audio) Audio CD – Audiobook, 16 Aug 2012
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'A brilliant writer of wit and subtlety.' (The Times)
'[Wilson] a rare gift for writing lightly and amusingly about emotional issues.' (The Bookseller)
'[Wilson] should be prescribed for all cases of reading reluctance.' (The Independent on Sunday) --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
Four Children and It is the number one bestseller from Jacqueline Wilson, the award-winning, bestselling creator of Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather and The Illustrated Mum. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Firstly, my 8 year old daughter's verdict - "My favourite Jacqueline Wilson book! I love the magic and fantasy. Rosalind is into books just like me and I want to read the E Nesbit books now".
Now for my opinion...I have reservations about modern authors revisiting and rejigging classics but Jacqueline Wilson is such a clever writer she has captured the perfect tone for her modern day adventurers. Yes, it's a contemporary setting with a "jigsaw" family but magic still exists for children whether you live in a castle or on a council estate. It's a perfect book for both reluctant and extremely keen readers, for any children to lose themselves in a gripping adventure and for all of us to wonder what would be the perfect wish. Jacqueline Wilson would wish to be able to write a book in one day so she could have a holiday the rest of the year - I'm still thinking about it!
This review is of the BBC Audio edition although we also read the book, did I mention we had to have everything written, spoken by Jacqueline Wilson...and she's fabulous at narrating the audio version too.
Now, I'm off to read my original version of Five Children and It which I got in 1976!
Just as in the original book, the adventure takes place during the long hot summer holidays. The premise of the story is that the children - this time 4 of them from a blended family (sister, brother, half-sister and step-sister) - come across the grumpy sand fairy and recognise it as the Psammead from E. Nesbit's classic, then decide to make their own wishes.
As in the original book, the Psammead is far more literal than the children, which means their wishes can have unintended consequences. What is delicious, as in the original book, is that the Psammead can only grant one wish a day and, once the wish is granted, it really is granted; this requires the children to deliberate carefully over whose wish they should choose that day, and then leaves them stuck with the consequences. The action all takes place in a contemporary setting, skillfully drawn by the author.
At 6 CDS running to over 7 hours this CD would be suitable for very long car journeys or short bursts at bedtime. Children (and adults!) of all ages were entranced by this CD. The reading is clear and engaging, and it does add an extra dimension that the book was read by its author, who is a global superstar amongst children's writers. She has quite a following and, if your child is a fan of the the author, they will get a real thrill out of hearing her read her own book.
For more content about the CD, Jacqueline Wilson and her books, see her bright, informative website.
The Good Points:
1) There was a good mixed of language, not just simple "I said this," or "I did that." There were some words in there that I didn't know!
2) The story was simple enough to understand, and had a slightly magical feeling towards it, but complex enough so that children wouldn't get bored. It wasn't written condescendingly, either.
3) You could relate easily to all 4 children. Well, not so much the younger ones, Robbie and Maudie, but definitely Smash and Rosalind.
The Bad Points:
1) I didn't feel as if there was enough reality in there. I know the book is based on a magical creature, but some of the activities and adventures were ridiculous.
2) The plot was aimed at 6-8 year olds, but the actual content was aimed at older children, maybe 10-12. I found myself not knowing who the book was aimed at.
3) I feel that Rosalind wasn't really much of a character in the story, even though it was told in her perspective.
All in all, this book was good, but not anything special.
Lists aside, Wilson certainly keeps young ears addressed to the business of following the story, though adults may find the plot a bit laboured in the telling. After opening with a very long description of a petty argument between the children, by way of introducing them, things perk up as they set off on holiday. The magic and adventure implied on the cover soon materializes, from which point the story motors along nicely from episode to episode. The adventures are amusing, though for me, Wilson's observations of parenting and step-parenting through a child's eyes is where most of the comedy may be found.
Wilson revisits the subject of broken families. The family in the story is complicated, but in essence the children are half-brothers and half-sisters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My Daughter just can't get enough of these books - Excellent reading.Published 7 months ago by Charlie Willetts
I think the story had a really clear storyline and you can see why people really liked the book thanks Jacqueline wilsonPublished 7 months ago by Ismail
The book surprised me with the amount of excitement and imagination which taught the four children to think carefully before making a wish.Published 9 months ago by Irene
I am so o o o o o o o like rosilind. She is so o o o o amazingPublished 10 months ago by Mrs Sarah Williams