Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Seven, 28 Dec. 2005
This review is from: 7 Books in 1: The Railway Children, Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Story of the Amulet, The Story of the Treasure-Seekers, The Would-Be-Goods, and The Enchanted Castle (Paperback)
Before J.K.Rowling and Roald Dahl, there was E.E.Nesbit; one of the most prolific and inventive children's authors of all time, even if the inventor of Harry Potter (who acknowledges her as her favourite children's author) may be close to usurping that title. Even though her books were written a century ago, such was the universal appeal of her themes and the ease with which children could identify with her characters that she has remained in print to this day and the stories are just as good now as they were then.
As with any children's classics the appeal lies in a cracking plot, good character development and adult accessibility; parents are as keen to read as their children are to listen. The plots are simple and tend to have a similar basic theme: well-to-do-kids living ideal life suddenly have to face change through unseen circumstance and/or magic, like Rowling, Nesbitt loved to include magic and enchantment in her stories (it is, perhaps, ironic that her best tale, “The Railway Children”, contains none although it is certainly enchantING). Like Rowling, her stories also tend to have a dark side: many contain, and even hinge around, an absent, idealised father, reflecting the loss of the writer's own parent when she was just six, but it is this that gives them their impact. Although it may be cheaper to buy the books individually in paperback, I find hardback a better investment - children will want to read these stories again and again and, over forty years, every Nesbit paperback I have ever bought has disintegrated through overuse. This omnibus represents a superb investment; every house should have one or - to possibly prevent fights - two!
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