The Flint Heart

Katherine Paterson and John Paterson, read by Ralph Lister. Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, unabridged, four CDs, 4 hrs., $24.99 ISBN 978-1-4558-2242-3

Katherine and John Paterson’s bewitching fairy tale about the re-emergence of a dangerous talisman called the Flint Heart that hardens the heart of anyone unlucky enough to be corrupted by its magic comes to life thanks to top-notch narration from Ralph Lister. Throughout this audio production, Lister creates distinctive voices for the diverse cast of characters. He offers up a gruff rumble for the ancient tribesman first possessed by the flint heart and a nasal, high-pitched voice for a persnickety fairy that harbors a passion for English literature. For children Charles and Unity—whose father falls victim to the object—Lister creates bright, inquisitive voices, while lending the wise and kindly Zagabog, a sort of guru to the fairies, a gentle voice reminiscent of Harry Potter’s Dumbledore. And for the story’s most whimsical character—a timid hot water bottle that dreams of someday being mended—Lister utilizes a voice that becomes confident and brave as the story unfolds. Ages 7–12. A Candlewick hardcover. (Sept.)