Five Children and It (Puffin Classics)

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9780140350616: Five Children and It (Puffin Classics)

Five Children and It is a children's novel by English author E. Nesbit. It was first published as a book in 1902, having been expanded from a series of stories published in the Strand Magazine in 1900 under the general title The Psammead, or the Gifts. It is the first volume of a trilogy that includes The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904) and The Story of the Amulet (1906). The book has never been out of print since its initial publication.Like Nesbit's The Railway Children, the story begins when a group of children move from London to the countryside of Kent. The five children – Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother, known as the Lamb – are playing in a gravel pit when they uncover a rather grumpy, ugly, and occasionally malevolent Psammead or sand-fairy, who has the ability to grant wishes. He persuades the children to take one wish each day to be shared among them, with the caveat that the wishes will turn to stone at sunset. This, apparently, used to be the rule in the Stone Age, when all that children wished for was food, the bones of which then became fossils. The five children's first wish is to be "as beautiful as the day". The wish ends at sunset and its effects simply vanish, leading the Psammead to observe that some wishes are too fanciful to be changed to stone.

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From the Back Cover:

The five children find a cantankerous sand fairy or 'psammead' in a gravel pit. Every day 'It' will grant each of them a wish that lasts until sunset, often with disastrous consequences. Five Children and It was first published in 1902, and it has remained in print ever since. The Introduction to this edition examines Nesbit's life and her reading, showing how she was poised between the Victorian world and a new era in which children in literature were no longer mere projections of the adult viewpoint. Sandra Kemp examines how the narrative is structured around the acting out of literary fantasies, which always come down to earth. Nesbit combines wonderfully implausible events with the prosaic and familiar, and Kemp illuminates her exploration of the shifting relationship between imagination, literature, and life.

About the Author:

Edith Nesbit (1858&ndash1924) was a children's writer whose most famous novels include The Story of the Treasure Seekers, Five Children and It, and The Enchanted Castle.

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Nesbit, E.
Published by Puffin (1985)
ISBN 10: 0140350616 ISBN 13: 9780140350616
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