Five Children and It (Puffin Classics)

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9780140367355: Five Children and It (Puffin Classics)

This title is an entrancing combination of magic with the everyday trials of childhood. 'It' is a Psammead, an ancient, ugly and irritable sand-fairy the children find one day in a gravel pit. It grants them one wish a day, lasting until sunset. But they soon learn it is very hard to think of really sensible wishes, and each one gets them into unexpected difficulties. Magic, the children find, can be as awkward as it is enticing.

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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 was a mischievous child who grew up into an unconventional adult. With her husband, Hubert Bland, she was one of the founder members of the socialist Fabian Society; their household became a centre of the socialist and literary circles of the times. E. Nesbit turned late to children's writing. Her first children's book, THE TREASURE SEEKERS, was published in 1899 to great acclaim. Other books featuring the Bastable children followed, and a series of magical fantasy books, including FIVE CHILDREN AND IT also became very popular. THE RAILWAY CHILDREN was first published monthly in the LONDON MAGAZINE in 1905, and published as a book in 1906 and has been in print ever since.

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