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Five Children and It [Kindle Edition]

E. (Edith) Nesbit , H. R. (Harold Robert) Millar
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (319 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 321 KB
  • Print Length: 109 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1406835013
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004UJ3644
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (319 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #551 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
By Nicola F (Nic) TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
They just don't write children's books like this any more, do they? That's such a shame, because this for me was like taking a journey back to my childhood when my primary school teacher read this aloud to us. I can also remember watching the television show of the same name on Children's BBC and being fascinated (and freaked out) by the psammead!

The magical story unfolds with a family moving to a big white house in the countryside; the children are exploring a gravel pit one day when they encounter a Psammead (pronounced sammyadd)- a sand-fairy. The sand-fairy is a strange little creature but of course the children are intrigued and are soon chatting away with it like they have known him forever- and its even more interesting when they find out he can grant wishes...

Though this is a lovely old-fashioned book and very imaginative, the author creates such vivid scene-setting that as a reader you are able to envisage the sights and surroundings so clearly, without the prose being too overly descriptive or pretentious. One of my very favourite descriptive paragraphs is near the beginning; "...the valley looked as if it was filled with golden mist, and the limekilns and hop-drying houses glimmered and glittered till they were like an enchanted city out of the Arabian Nights." Just lovely. That's only one wonderful description of many in this charming book. The author also addresses the reader as `you' so really pulls you into the story alongside the mischievous children and their adventures. I can remember being curled up on the reading rug at school and listening to my teacher read this aloud to us and how mesmerised everyone was. I really hope to read this to my own (future) children one day!

A beautiful, whimsical tale for adults and children alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful what you wish for, it might come true 22 Mar. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There’s a sort of mindset you have to put yourself in when you tackle some of the children’s classics. It doesn’t apply to all of the books I’ve read, but it does apply to most of those written in the period 1930-1950. There’s a sort of suspension of belief, a need to be jollied along with the tale, and an understanding that children were just, well, different then. It seems that readers of Five Children and It are expected to be wide-eyed at the adventures of these kids. It is set squarely in a world where five children, from about 12 years to a baby, can be left in the care of the housemaid (who will feed them and make sure they are in bed at the right time) while the parents go off on important business. I suppose it’s not really different from leaving kids with a nanny or au pair now.

What I like most about this book is the way the children can have just one wish granted by the fairy each day. This divides the stories up into nice neat adventures, which tend not to spill over into another day. Great for bedtime reading. The wishes are granted by It, a Sand-fairy, otherwise known as a Psammead, that the children find in a nearby gravelpit (not filled with water as all of ours are these days), The trouble is, what to wish for. The saying “be careful what you wish for, it might come true” is powerfully illustrated by the way the Psammead grants their wishes, and the consequences are not at all what the children expect. It takes time for them not to wish without intending it, and to wish for something that will actually do them some good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Mumof2
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story begins when a group of children move from London to the countryside of Kent. While playing in a gravel pit, the five children—Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane, and their baby brother, the Lamb—uncover a rather grumpy, ugly and occasionally malevolent sand-fairy known as the Psammead, who has the ability to grant wishes. However, the Psammead has been buried for so long, he is no longer able to grant individual wishes. Instead, he persuades the children to take one wish per day, to share amongst the lot of them, with the caveat that the wishes will turn to stone at sundown. This, apparently, used to be the rule in the Stone Age, when all children wished for was food, the bones of which would then become fossils. However, when the children's first wish—to be "as beautiful as the day"—ends at sundown, it simply vanishes, leading the Psammead to observe that some wishes are too fanciful to be changed to stone.

All the wishes go comically wrong. When the children wish to be beautiful, the servants don't recognise them and shut them out of the house. When they wish to be rich, they find themselves with a gravel-pit full of gold spade guineas that no shop will accept as it is no longer in circulation, so they can't buy anything. A wish for wings seems to be going well, but at sunset the children find themselves stuck atop a church bell tower with no way down, getting them into trouble with the gamekeeper who must take them home (though this wish has the happy side-effect of introducing the gamekeeper to the children's housemaid, who later marries him). After being bullied by the baker's boy, Robert wishes that he was bigger, whereupon he becomes eleven feet tall and the children show him at a travelling fair for coins.
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