Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit

Five Children and It

subjects: Children's Fiction: Fantasy & Magical Realism

Description

To Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother, the house in the country promises a summer of freedom and play. But when they accidently uncover an accident Psammead–or Sand-fairy–who has the power to make wishes come true, they find themselves having the holiday of a lifetime, sharing one thrilling adventure after another. Asleep since dinosaurs roamed the earth, the ill-tempered, odd–looking Psammead –with his spider-shaped body, bat’s ears, and snail’s eyes –grudgingly agrees to grant the children one wish per day. Soon, though the children discover that their wishes have a tendancy to turn out quite differnetly than expected. Whatever they wish whether it’s to fly like a bird, live in a mighty castle, or have an immense fortune –something goes terribly wrong, hilariously wrong. Then an accidental wish has horrible consequences, and the children are faced with a difficult choice: to let an innoncent manbe charged with a crime or to lose for all time their gift of magical wishes. Five Children and It is on of E. Nesbit’s most beloved tales of enchantment.

Excerpt

The house was three miles from the station, but, before the dusty hired hack had rattled along for five minutes, the children began to put their heads out of the carriage window and say, “Aren’t we nearly there?” And every time they passed a house, which was not very often, they all said, “Oh, is this it?” But it never was, till they reached the very top of the hill, just past the chalk–quarry and before you come to the gravel–pit. And then there was a white house with a green garden and an orchard beyond, and mother said, “Here we are!”

“How white the house is,” said Robert.

“And look at the roses,” said Anthea.