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Five Children and It [Paperback]

E. Nesbit
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
RRP: 1.99
Price: 1.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Dec 1993

Its eyes were on long horns like a snail's eyes… it had ears like a bat's ears, and its tubby body was shaped like a spider's and covered with thick, soft fur… and it had hands and feet like a monkey's.

‘It’ was the Psammead, the grumpy sand-fairy that could, if in the mood, grant a wish a day. When the five children befriend him they find that each wish granted often has a sting in its tail. Golden guineas are too difficult to spend, wings let them down in a most inconvenient way, and when they wish for Red Indians, the children forget that they can sometimes be a little warlike.

Generations of children have come to love the fantasy and the whimsy of the stories in the classic book from the author of The Railway Children.

Frequently Bought Together

Five Children and It + The Phoenix and the Carpet (Wordsworth Children's Classics) + The Railway Children (Wordsworth's Children's Classics)
Price For All Three: 5.67

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; 1st edition (1 Dec 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853261246
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853261244
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"I love E. Nesbit - I think she is great and I identify with the way that she writes. Her children are very real children and she was quite a groundbreaker in her day" -- JK Rowling "She speaks to the reader, and it's almost as if though you could hear her voice" -- Quentin Blake "This one is definitely my favourite. The story is about five children who find a sand fairy that grants them wishes. But the wishes never turn out like the children imagine. The children had to spend the summer without TV or electronic games because they hadn't been invented. It makes me feel jealous of them, because they spend all day having adventures and the grown-ups don't bother them at all! I recommend this book to all children. If you can't read it yourself, your mum or dad should read it to you" -- Viveak Todd, aged 11 Sunday Express "So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics!" National Association for the Teaching of English

Book Description

'I love E. Nesbit - I think she is great and I identify with the way that she writes. Her children are very real children and she was quite a groundbreaker in her day' JK Rowling

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The house was three miles from the station, but before the dusty hired fly had rattled along for five minutes the children began to put their heads out of the carriage window and to say, 'Aren't we nearly there?' Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best recording yet - ignore the cover 4 May 2004
Format:Audio CD
What a pity this recording comes with such a wishy-washy illustration, guaranteed to put children off. It is pure joy, not least because it will keep any child of 8+ completely quiet for 3 hours. Nesbitt's classic tale is being filmed, and perhaps this will encourage more children ot try her wonderful stories, told in the voice of the kindest mother imaginable.
Five children- one of the a baby, known as the Lamb (whose delightful and frightful characteristics are honestly portrayed) leave London for their first holiday in two years at the white house in the country. It isn't long before they discover a "Psammead" in the gravel-pits, a sand-fairy who has not surfaced since dinosaur days (Nesbitt's paleontology a bit shaky here) when children used to ask it for a nice Megatherium for breakfast. Our own children of course ask for all the obvious things - beauty, riches, wings, adventures. They all go hilariously wrong, and if the long-suffering maid Ellen gets a husband out of it, it's only by accident.
There are no tedious moral messages, except perhaps that it isn't wise to try and tell adults the truth, and that you should always have your dinner before you have an adventure, but the freshness of this enchanting book is undimmed. The reading is first-rate, and interspersed with perfectly chosen music from Naxos's archives. Much, much better than the BBC recording. I also recommend the Cover to Cover audiop version of The Phoenix & the Carpet. Let's hope the third book in the trilogy, The Sotry of the Amulet, isn't long in appearing.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
My six year old daughter says "It is the most best CD ever!" My 8 year old son says "It's better than watching the film, my heart broke at the end! I'm going to listen to it over and over again"
Need I say more, the children love it!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent version of childrens' classic 3 Dec 2009
By Comical Engineer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This is an excellent version of the book. Samantha Bond is an excellent reader and this is an unabridged version of the book so all the better. We listened to this on a long motorway journey and it went down extremely well with both children & adults. Check for cheap price copies which are available.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
I am now 40 years old and I remember these stories like they were yesterday, they have stayed with me all my life as some of the fondest memories of my childhood, complete escapism. A three part story about five kids who dig up a sand fairy called a Psamyiad who grants them wishes, whisking them off on all kinds of adventures in time, to exotic places like ancient Egypt meeting strange and historic people and mythical creatures like the Pheonix. All children should read these books, some adults would even benefit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What happened to the rest of it? 30 Oct 2012
Format:Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This Audio CD of the classic children's tale written by E. Nesbit is a bit of a disappointment. It's well produced, the narration by Lynda Bellingham is good but I can't help but think you'll feel a bit ripped off.

It comes to you on a single CD with a running of around 1 hour long and just too much has been taken out. In fact, it's been butchered. I suppose an abridged version has it's place, but I think most parents and children will want to hear the full tale of the five children who stumbled across the sand fairy that grants wishes. Sadly, you won't find that here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! 12 Oct 2012
Format:Audio CD
I can't remember how many times my kids have listened to this.. just great! It is a good listen for young and old alike.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
E. Nesbit may have written this 100 years ago but her writing has retained it's freshness and humour because she saw children as people, not as empty vessels waiting to be filled with life deadening facts. Not so usual in 1901.
Social realism and humour abound in her books and like her laws of magic, there are no set rules to how she wrote her books. She established new territory that all subsequent good writers for children have had the freedom to explore.
National Curriculum Literacy strategists take note. Nesbit did not learn to write by investigating non-fictional texts. She had a vivid and exciting childhood, free of of academic constraints.
Read this book and all the Nesbits. Her books of full of the true magic of childhood.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Innocent Age. 28 July 2014
Some of the reviews on this page are clearly associated with a CD that has been issued. My review is of the original unabridged book.

The five children in question are Cyril, Anthea, Robert and Jane and in case you're thinking that's only four, there's a little baby brother called 'The Lamb'. This book not only introduces us to the children it also introduces us to the Psammead, a rather ugly sand fairy, with eyes like a snail and a body reminiscent of a giant spider. The children first discover this creature whilst playing in a sand pit near their temporary home in the country. The Psammead can grant wishes and the children soon cotton on to this, only to find that every wish they make backfires in some way, for example, they wish for great wealth but when it comes it's in some unknown currency, they can't spend it and they get arrested. Then they wish for wings, and end up stranded on the top of a church tower, and in a fit of anger they wish their irritating little brother would grow up and he does, before their very eyes, into the most supercilious young man it's possible to meet. The wishes all disappear at sunset so there's no harm done really.

The stories are very much written from a child,s perspective ( a frequently used device of Nesbit's ) and they bring to life a forgotten time before the first world war. It is interesting to reflect that, in real life, all the boys referred to in the stories would have grown to become cannon fodder for the insane generals of the Somme, our gallant 'leaders' of yesteryear. These same men would ultimately rob a whole generation of young girls of any chance to marry and raise a family.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely listening
Charming old fashioned story enjoyed by my boys aged 6 & 9 and myself! Nice moral to the story also.
Published 1 month ago by charlotte
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic CD
My children love the film and so my son was given this for Christmas -they've all listened to it and enjoyed it.
Published 6 months ago by mayoman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Bought for my granddaughter and she was thrilled, she is just getting into the more elaborate story lines and couldn't 't put it down!!
Published 9 months ago by scottie
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy story that just might be true.
This classic tale is another in the Wordsworth series and well deserves its place on the bookshelf. Good for reading out loud.
Published 10 months ago by Joss
5.0 out of 5 stars TIMELESS CLASSIC
Fantastic story with timeless appeal. Great fun- but someone shouldhave told Samantha Bond that Psammead is meant to be pronounced "sammy-add" not "psalm-eed"!
Published 12 months ago by Steve B
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I got this book for my daughter after she read the Jaqueiline Wilson book - 4 children and it, so she asked if she could get this one as it is mentioned and based on this one. Read more
Published 12 months ago by misty
1.0 out of 5 stars tiny print
The print is tiny on the Wordsworth edition, hard work for me to read let alone a young child. I haven't seen print this small since I was a child (which is a while ago). Read more
Published 12 months ago by Sarah72
5.0 out of 5 stars Audio book - five children and it
A much loved book of mine and my children - bought to assist my daughter have 'rest' periods with something familiar. Excellent and highly recommended
Published 13 months ago by JLH
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps scary for under 8-9 year old children
It is very well dramatised, maybe my 7 and 5 year old are too young for the story, they said it is scary. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jinnica
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic well told
E. Nesbit's great story is retold here in this excellent reading from Lynda Bellingham, the actress you may remember from the Oxo adverts. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Paul B
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