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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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What a pity this recording comes with such a wishy-washy illustration, guaranteed to put children off. It is pure joy, not least because it will keep any child of 8+ completely quiet for 3 hours. Nesbitt's classic tale is being filmed, and perhaps this will encourage more children ot try her wonderful stories, told in the voice of the kindest mother imaginable.
Five children- one of the a baby, known as the Lamb (whose delightful and frightful characteristics are honestly portrayed) leave London for their first holiday in two years at the white house in the country. It isn't long before they discover a "Psammead" in the gravel-pits, a sand-fairy who has not surfaced since dinosaur days (Nesbitt's paleontology a bit shaky here) when children used to ask it for a nice Megatherium for breakfast. Our own children of course ask for all the obvious things - beauty, riches, wings, adventures. They all go hilariously wrong, and if the long-suffering maid Ellen gets a husband out of it, it's only by accident.
There are no tedious moral messages, except perhaps that it isn't wise to try and tell adults the truth, and that you should always have your dinner before you have an adventure, but the freshness of this enchanting book is undimmed. The reading is first-rate, and interspersed with perfectly chosen music from Naxos's archives. Much, much better than the BBC recording. I also recommend the Cover to Cover audiop version of The Phoenix & the Carpet. Let's hope the third book in the trilogy, The Sotry of the Amulet, isn't long in appearing.
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on 10 May 2005
My six year old daughter says "It is the most best CD ever!" My 8 year old son says "It's better than watching the film, my heart broke at the end! I'm going to listen to it over and over again"
Need I say more, the children love it!
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on 3 December 2009
This is an excellent version of the book. Samantha Bond is an excellent reader and this is an unabridged version of the book so all the better. We listened to this on a long motorway journey and it went down extremely well with both children & adults. Check for cheap price copies which are available.
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This is a wonderful book, and I remember reading it in my 1970s childhood, and am now reading it to my son. What is strange however is that I don't remember it seeming so old-fashioned when I read it as a child. That the chilren had maids and cooks, and country houses just seemed to me like children were in stories, just as children in stories all seemed to go to boarding school or own horses. The point I am making is that while to a modern, adult reader, the style may seem more fitting to its 1900 origins than a present-day readership, this will not present a problem to children, who will just enjoy the adventure, the magic, and the story.

The story starts when five children (including a baby, who must occasionally be cared for by his older brothers and sisters) move away to a country house and their mother and father have to leave them in the care of their servants. This rather Victorian premise is really just a dramatic device to get rid of the adults and allow the children to have a jolly good time on their own. It isn't long before they encounter a strange creature in a quarry, and find that it will grant them wishes. But the wishes do not always turn out as the children might expect!

I recommend this for children of seven upwards.
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on 7 November 2001
E. Nesbit may have written this 100 years ago but her writing has retained it's freshness and humour because she saw children as people, not as empty vessels waiting to be filled with life deadening facts. Not so usual in 1901.
Social realism and humour abound in her books and like her laws of magic, there are no set rules to how she wrote her books. She established new territory that all subsequent good writers for children have had the freedom to explore.
National Curriculum Literacy strategists take note. Nesbit did not learn to write by investigating non-fictional texts. She had a vivid and exciting childhood, free of of academic constraints.
Read this book and all the Nesbits. Her books of full of the true magic of childhood.
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on 31 July 1999
This is a wonderful book! I strongly recomend it for teachers and students! This is a book for all ages. This book is humorous but keeps a good plot. Just try this book, I guarentee you'll be hooked from the first page. The Sand Fairy has a way of making the wishes, not as you expected. A wonderful read!
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
My review is for the audio CD version of Five Children and IT and not the book/Kindle version.

Linda Bellingham makes an excellent job of narrating E. Nesbit's classic children's story and she needs to; this is a long recording. Holding an adult's attention is difficult enough for approx. 3 hours worth of storytelling, keeping young children hooked is much harder. Linda's warm, funny and entertaining just like "IT" and her voices are distinct enough you don't get mixed up about the different characters. Good quality product, apart from the illustration to the front cover which is dreadful, and I had no audio/playing difficulties. If I'm being honest I do actually prefer to read the books. An audio CD, no matter how good, could never capture that poignant childhood magic.
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on 5 March 2008
Yes, a great story, but to manage your expectations, this is not a patch on the Puffin tapes of the book read by Samantha Bond. This abridgement lacks colour compared with the Puffin one - you jump to the Psammead after about 3 minutes, and a lot of the Edwardian charm has been dropped. Anna Bentinck is just not as good either. But as this is the only audio available, I suppose you'll have to get it!
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on 29 December 2016
Having just taken part in a play about Edith Nesbit's 'darker' work, I decided to try this title, which was mentioned in the dialogue. My character in the play says he is 'unnerved by the creature the children find, the eponymous It'. As an adult, I found the book really quite enjoyable, and would certainly recommend it for children of - say - 9 years or more. There are some important life lessons they might learn, as well as enjoying the various chapter stories, in which the childrens' wishes - as granted by the 'sand fairy' - usually go wrong!
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This Audio CD of the classic children's tale written by E. Nesbit is a bit of a disappointment. It's well produced, the narration by Lynda Bellingham is good but I can't help but think you'll feel a bit ripped off.

It comes to you on a single CD with a running of around 1 hour long and just too much has been taken out. In fact, it's been butchered. I suppose an abridged version has it's place, but I think most parents and children will want to hear the full tale of the five children who stumbled across the sand fairy that grants wishes. Sadly, you won't find that here.
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