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The version of Grahame's Reluctant Dragon in this fine collection is outstanding because it includes not just the core story about the dragon, the Boy, and St. George, but also Grahame's original frame for the story. Young Grahame and his sister find what they think are dragon tracks in the snow, and eagerly track the dragon, only to end up, at the close of the day, far from home. Luckily they encounter an adult they know, who respects their story, gives them supper, and tells them the Reluctant Dragon story as he walks them home after supper. Bertie Carvel reads the story superbly.
Emma Gregory does an excellent job with the Nesbit stories. Nesbit's tales are tricky: they have to be read a bit tongue-in-cheek (as Nesbit wrote them) so reader and listener together enjoy the blend of predictability and unexpected twists. Heavy-handed treatment would make them sound trite, but in Gregory's deft performance they are delightful.
If only Audible could offer us a Bertie Carvel reading of the full two volumes of stories of Grahame's childhood, The Golden Age and Dream Days . . . .
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