Cover Image: The One Great Gnome

The One Great Gnome

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Member Reviews

This was the most magical book ever! It was a fantastic read a nd I think it will make a great socking stuffer for the little ones who love the magical world of gnomes. As an adult, I found the story enthralling and it took me back to my childhood and the way that I got wrapped up in those books.
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This was a cute book, not just for children, but for older people as well. I enjoyed the narrator and the main character and the book was easy to understand.
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When eleven-year-old Sarah is transplanted from New York City to rural Connecticut, she has no idea how she will survive. Never could she have imagined that a garden gnome come to life would lead her to an underground adventure to save the entire gnome race.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story and absolutely loved the addition of sound effects to enhance the story. Looking at the printed version, I saw the addition of illustrations with the text as well. I thought these nice additions.

However, while my seven-year-old daughter found this story enjoyable, I had a difficult time getting into the story. Although it is geared toward a younger audience, I was frustrated by the overuse of dialogue tags and, at least in the second half of the story, the near absent use of pronouns, leading to names being repeated many times in a short period. An example of this can be seen in the kindle sample:

"Sarah was just turning to leave when something caught her eye. It looked like a little gray shoe that was sticking out from under an overturned planter. Sarah carefully lifted the planter and laid it aside. The shoe was part of a statue. It looked like a little elf, or gnome, made out of stone. He was about three feet tall and dressed in a suit, and on his head was a pointed hat. Sarah had seen these in her mother's books."

There were also some places throughout the book where it felt like too much background information was being given. I wasn't always sure how it was relevant to the story and was slightly distracting.

Overall, however, I did think this an enjoyable story to read with my younger children. The audiobook was well narrated and my children within the target audience seemed to enjoy it.

This review is available on Amazon & Goodreads and will be published on my blog in September. (Note: the links to amazon and my blog are currently unavailable)
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What a fun middle grade fantasy listen! I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure story narrated by eleven year old Sarah as she discovers a thoroughly engaging fantasy world. After listening to the audiobook from NetGalley for myself I ordered a copy of this book to share with my nephew. Thank you to the author and publisher for sharing this book with me.
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I think this is a cute story overall, but it meanders for a long time and the pacing makes the events of this story very boring. The introduction was so slow that I often put this down in search for something else because I didn't think a girl looking in a shed for an hour was interesting. I'm not a fan of the dialogue either and while I think this is geared for a young audience, who might not have as big of a problem with it, it felt clunky and unnatural, especially given the characters' history with each other.
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A lovely read! I enjoyed the story. It was like Alice in Wonderland where the heroine went into a rabbit hole. Sarah went down a door and help her new "friend" to save the gnomes. I love the narrator and how the story goes, although the story pacing is a bit slow at some point. But overall, I like it!
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This book was well written and since I listened to it, easy to understand.  As an adult I love seeing new books that children can really get into.  A new world or a journey and this book had both.  Great job.
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This is a Fantasy Middle Grade, and I listen to the audiobook. I really enjoyed this book. I have already order a copy of this book for my daughter. I love the messages in this story, and the story is to cute and fun to read/listen to. This story is told by Sarah a 11 year old girl who is pulled into a secret world Gnome world. I loved the Gnome world. I loved all the characters in this book. I was kindly provided an e-audiobook of this book by the publisher or author (Jeff Dinardo) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
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This one is a cute story for children that doesn’t translate well for adult readers that like to read children’s books, sadly. The world is very interesting and I wish there was more about it. The characters are sympathetic and cute.

The audio version had some sounds to go along with the story (like knocking at doors or turning a key) which were well done but that I felt didn’t had much to this kind of story.

There’s not much else to say about it since it is a short read.
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I’ve been listening to a lot of these children’s audiobooks in my classroom throughout the day. My students love it and it’s a good way to get “reading time” in when we were virtual teaching! My students really enjoyed this one and it sparked many conversations
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Really excellent audiobook. We listened to it together and really enjoyed it. Definitely reminded me a little of Alice in wonderland and a bit like The hobbit, but geared towards a younger reader. Lots of fun
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this was a ice casual and quick book to listen to but i really enjoyed it despite not being thre target audience.
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I did not care for this book. It was an okay book, but it felt more like the plot of the first Trolls movie or the first Smurfs movie. It was just very simple in its plot. If I were to recommend the book, I'd be more likely to recommend it to a 2nd grader than any grade above that because there's just not a lot to the plot.

The narrator and narration were good, however. I did like that there were sound effects included in the storytelling.
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I listened to this with my 6 (almost 7) year old daughter. I have tried to do audiobooks with her before but she just never seemed to care. I think it is a combination of things that got her so interested this time. 
She now can read herself, she was trapped in the car when we read most of it, and her interest in books has increased. I can't give this book a full review without talking in terms of we, because a lot of this was an interaction with my daughter. 

We loved this book. The narrator did a wonderful job with the character voices, making each one unique and specific. The story was engaging and kept us on our toes. The adventure wasn't so much that it got confusing or too much for my daughter. She was captivated. She specifically said she loved the added sound effects. 

With Sarah moving from New York to Connecticut, she has the chance to explore her new home and the yard surrounding, something new for her. But after finding an old garden gnome, her time there changes in ways she would never have believed. She meets, trolls, a devious elf, and is able to help save the day, all at the sweet age of eleven. 

If this is supposed to be a play on Alice in Wonderland, I will take this every time. We truly enjoyed it at our house, and it has ignited something in my daughter. For that, this gets 5 stars. Any book that can make my own child ask multiple times a day if we can listen to it, ("Mom, can we listen to the gnome book?") is a winner in my book- no pun intended.
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A cute, fun children's story in an adorable setting. It has great characters, good writing and a very fun adventure. This is a great story for kids. I loved the audiobook, since the narrator truly made the story come to life and gave each character a unique personality.
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*received for free from netgalley for honest review* Really cute little story reminded me of alice in wonderland and maybe the secret garden, would be really cute with illustrations
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This was such a fun and quirky read! It reminded me of the movie Spirited Away where a young girl is moving and all of the items that comes with it. Adventure. Fun. New people. And finding out who you really are.
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I received a complimentary digital and temporary audiobook copy of "The One Great Gnome" direct from the publisher One Elm Books (an imprint of Red Chair Press) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

About the audiobook:

How the story sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

I liked how Ms Stevens approached narrating this story from different perspectives - wherein she had distinct voices attached to different characters but she had a mainstay voice for the narration as well when she was narrating betwixt and between characters or dialogue. I felt it was theatrical in how she conveyed the story - she put empathsis on certain words that needed an extra shine of light on them and she performed through the words themselves, which I always love to find in audiobooks!

Regards to Articulation & Performance of the story:


Ms Stevens had wonderful articulation throughout the story - the only thing I felt was a bit off though was the author's preferences for how Sarah referred to her Dad; in some sentences he was 'Dad' and in others 'father' but sometimes within the same paragraph it switched back and forth which didn't feel quite as natural as I think the author was trying to have it sound. Usually those of us who called our fathers' Dad would keep with that term rather than suddenly shift between 'Dad' and 'father' simultaneously.


You're drawn into Ms Steven's narration because of how she's found the right balance between the innocence of Sarah's view on the world and the larger expanse of how her life intersects with the lives of the gnomes. I especially enjoyed how Ms Steven's performed through the narration, gave further depth to both the characters and this world by how she build the characters through how she voiced them as much as how she used specific sound effects to make this world feel familiar. Those sound effects were inserted in just the right way and at just the right times, too.

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

When Smokey the cat was heard 'meowing' was an unexpected treat! Not all narrators add-in sound effects to the stories their narrating and hearing that meow was very well timed! It felt natural to hear Smokey say something too. The squeaking door of the potting shed gave a bit of atmosphere to where Sarah was adventuring in her own yard. There were a lot more sound effects throughout the duration of the story which I felt added to the experience of listening to the story. It became very interactive and I loved the choices which were made about which sounds to highlight and when they were inserted.

In closing, would I seek out another Simone Stevens audiobook?

I definitely appreciated getting to meet Ms Stevens through this audiobook! She is a natural at multi-character stories and she makes each character stand out by themselves to gain your full attention. The sound effects were a special treat for this production, as not all audiobooks have those in their chapters and I felt they were used at just the right intervals to make the story remain believable. I would love to see what else she has narrated - either in this genre or in others as I think she's a natural talent.

About "The One Great Gnome" the book:

What staid with me though is how Dinardo threaded this entire story by the first discoveries and observations Sarah made on the grounds of the farmhouse. Those initial finds and the curiosities they encouraged out of Sarah is what truly knits the story together. You have to pay close attention at the beginning in order to gain the most out of the ending. I felt it was a very well told story from that perspective because of how it encourages younger readers to listen harder to the stories their hearing in audiobook but also to be full of the wonderment of escaping into a fantasy world wherein gnomes, sprites, trolls and elves all exist concurrent to our own living world.

I loved how immersive this story became the more you dive deeper into the gnome world! Dinardo keep everything on a level of enjoyment for younger readers - you get to see this world through Sarah's POV which in of itself is a wonderment of joy and innocence; where she's eager to take an adventure into a world she hadn't expected to be visiting. It gives such a warm introduction to Fantasy if this is the reader's first entry into reading Fantasy stories as it allows younger readers to feel as if they are tagging along with Sarah; seeing what she sees and experiencing this world with the same sensibility she has herself.

Dinardo keeps the fantastical approachable in this story - he makes the whole world come to life for the reader and the listener, alike. The narrator was a fantastic choice because of how she undertook the ability to not just give voice to the characters but to bring each of those characters straight to life by how she voiced them and gave them depth by how she performed through the narration of those characters. I felt her narration was a strong compliment to how Dinardo wrote this story and how the story could feel to the listener.

He also kept the Fantasy elements on the softer side of the ledger, where if this was only your first or second entry into Fantasy, you wouldn't feel too overwhelmed. And, for those who are more experienced at reading Fantasy, I think you would feel entertained just to take the Quest with the characters and see how this world opened itself up to those who wander in search of the truth.

This is definitely a great primer for Portal Fantasy and Urban Fantasy - as when Vesper first meets Sarah, it has elements of an Urban Fantasy where the fantastical intersect and interact with us in our world. I even liked the fuller backstory about the OGG - his origins and how he became he most important person in the gnome world itself. Without spoiling anything - I found that an interesting twist of story and I thoroughly enjoyed the revelation as I hadn't quite connected the same dots myself as I was too wrapped up in Vester and Sarah's Quest.
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I requested an ARC of this audiobook from Netgalley and am leaving this honest review voluntarily.

Lately, I've been rediscovering the joy of reading children's and YA books again after ages. This story of 11 year old Sarah is such a sweet tale of magic. It has hidden doors, elves, trolls and of course, gnomes. Sarah's adventure was so much fun with a clean message to kids to be brave, kind and generous.

I listened to this book on audio and the narration was simply superb. The narrator did voices for all the characters and there were background sounds for doors closing, elves belching etc. It was hilarious and such a wholesome listening experience. I'd reckon that kids would really enjoy this story if they've liked the adventures of Alice and older kids or teens if they've enjoyed the magical world of Harry Potter (the first book where they're all young kids) :-)

I heartily recommend this story to one and all irrespective of age - and if possible to try it on audio.
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Review of The One Great Gnome by Jeff Dinardo, Audio Version

This is a lovely children's story about Sarah, who is 11 years old and just moved to the rural country from the big city. She finds an old garden gnome who comes to life, this is the tale of how she is drawn into the secret world of elves and gnomes and their adventures. I had the audio version, this was well read and easy to listen to. My 6year old thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story and I would recommend it.
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