Five Children and IT

( 23 )

Overview

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 ...

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Five Children and It

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Overview

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. This deluxe gift edition, featuring twelve beautiful watercolor paintings by Caldecott medalist Paul O. Zelinsky, is sure to be treasured addition to every family's library.



When four brothers and sisters discover a Psammead, or sand-fairy, in the gravel pit near the country house where they are staying, they have no way of knowing all the adventures its wish-granting will bring them.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Their first time in the country is filled with magical escapades for five children in this classic tale of adventure. Cyril, Athena, Robert, Jane, and baby brother, Lamb, are exploring the land around the house their parents have rented for the summer when they find the sandpit. They decide to dig a hole straight through to Australia. Their plan is interrupted when Athena discovers a magical creature hiding in the sand. It is a Psammead, and it can grant wishes. In fact, it must grant wishes, but it is a crabby creature and limits itself to one each day. Worse, none of the wishes seem to turn out right. When the children want to be beautiful, they are ... but their maid can't recognize them and refuses to feed them lunch. When the children want to be rich, they are ... but they can't spend the outdated coins. And so it goes. Luckily for the children, the Psammead's magic wears off at sunset. Even the worst results can be borne out until sunset ... or can they? Paul O. Zelinsky's delicate watercolor plates are a good match for E. Nesbit's humorous story about magic in the real world. An Afterward by Peter Glassman explains the influence this work had on subsequent children's literature. 1999, Books of Wonder/William Morrow, Ages 9 to 12, $32.95, $22.00 and $4.99. Reviewer: Heidi Green
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789626343050
  • Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.
  • Publication date: 4/15/2004
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 2 CDs, 2 hrs. 30 min.
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 4.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Edith Nesbit Bland (1858-1924) published most of her work under the signature of E. Nesbit and wrote or collaborated on more than sixty books for children. Her works include The Railway Children, The Story of the Treasure Seekers, and The Wouldbegoods.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Beautiful as the Day



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?" And every time theypassed 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 greengarden and an orchard beyond, and mother said, "Here we are!"

"How white the house is," said Robert.

"And look at the roses," said Anthea.

"And the plums," said Jane.

"It is rather decent," Cyril admitted.

The Baby said, "Wanty go walky"; and the fly stopped with a last rattle and jolt.

Everyone got its legs kicked or its feet trodden on in the scramble to get out of the carriage that very minute, but no one seemed to mind. Mother, curiously enough, was in no hurry to get out; and even when she had come down slowly and by the step, and with no jump at all, she seemed to wish to see the boxes carried in, and even to pay the driver, instead of joining in that first glorious rush round the garden and the orchard and the thorny, thistly, briery, brambly wilderness beyond the broken gate and the dry fountain at the side of the house. But the children were wiser, for once. It was not really a pretty house at all; it was quite ordinary, and mother thought it was rather inconvenient, and was quite annoyed at there being no shelves, to speak of, and hardly a cupboard in the place. Fatherused to say that the ironwork on the roof and coping was like an architect's nightmare. But the house was deep in the country, with no other house in sight, and the children had been in London for two years, without so much as once going to the seaside even for a day by an excursion train, and so the White House seemed to them a sort of Fairy Palace set down in an Earthly Paradise. For London is like prison for children, especially if their relations are not rich.

Of course there are the shops and theatres, and Maskelyne and Cook's, and things, but if your people are rather poor you don't get taken to the theatres, and you can't buy things out of the shops; and London has none of those nice things that children may play with without hurting the things or themselves -- such as trees and sand and woods and waters. And nearly everything in London is the wrong sort of shape -- all straight lines and flat streets, instead of being all sorts of odd shapes, like things are in the country. Trees are all different, as you know, and I am sure some tiresome person must have told you that there are no two blades of grass exactly alike. But in streets, where the blades of grass don't grow, everything is like everything else. This is why many children who live in towns are so extremely naughty. They do not know what is the matter with them, and no more do their fathers and mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, tutors, governesses, and nurses; but I know. And so do you, now. Children in the country are naughty sometimes, too, but that is for quite different reasons.

The children had explored the gardens and the outhouses thoroughly before they were caught and cleaned for tea, and they saw quite well that they were certain to be happy at the White House. They thought so from the first moment, but when they had found the back of the house covered with jasmine, all in white flower, and smelling like a bottle of the most expensive scent that is ever given for a birthday present; and when they had seen the lawn, all green and smooth, and quite different from the brown grass in the gardens at Camden Town; and when they had found the stable with a loft over it and some old hay still left, they were almost certain; and when Robert had found the broken swing and tumbled out of it and got a lump on his head the size of an egg, and Cyril had nipped his finger in the door of a hutch that seemed made to keep rabbits in, if you ever had any, they had no longer any doubts whatever.

The best part of it all was that there were no rules about not going to places and not doing things. In London almost everything is labeled "You mustn't touch," and though the label is invisible it's Just as bad, because you know it's there, or if you don't you jolly soon get told.

The White House was on the edge of a hill, with a wood behind it -- and the chalk quarry on one side and the gravel pit on the other. Down at the bottom of the hill was a level plain with queer-shaped white buildings where people burnt lime, and a big red brewery and other houses; and when the big chimneys were smoking and the sun was setting, the valley looked as if it was filled with golden mist, and the limekilns and oast houses glimmered and glittered till they were like an enchanted city out of the Arabian Nights.

Now that I have begun to tell you about the place, I feel that I could go on and make this into a most interesting Story about all the ordinary things that the children did -- just the kind of things you do yourself, you know -- and you would believe every word of it; and when I told about the children's being tiresome, as you are sometimes, your aunts would perhaps write in the margin of the story with a pencil, "How true!" or "How like life!" and you would see it and very likely be annoyed.

Five Children and It. Copyright © by E. Nesbit. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

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(14)

4 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2011

    Great

    Watched the movie and it was great.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2014

    This book sucks!!!!

    This book is fouckin stupid

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    What a treat! I highly encourage you and your children to be adv

    What a treat! I highly encourage you and your children to be adventurous and pick up a book from the vintage classics.
    We recently ventured back in time of the 1900’s with the long ago Edith Bland, better known as, Author E. Nesbit, English author and poet. She wrote many children’s book, one of which, we have just finished reading, Five Children & IT.
    Five Children & IT, is set in the 1900’s where times for children, I daresay were different. You will read about fashion of clothes being different. Depending on age and wealth, generally, the babies wore dresses; boys wore knickerbockers and girls pinafores over their dresses with petticoats underneath.
    Other differences would be in the English expressions used. We found these to be most frightfully fun! Look here, when the children would find themselves in one of the many fixes, things looked pretty jolly beastly! I’m not humbugging you!
    As for the story, it is about five children and a sand fairy, or psammead that grants wishes. Not just one wish, no, not three wishes either. What would you think if I told you these children got the dream everyone dreams, unlimited wishes! A new wish everyday! What do you think they wished for? And, let’s suppose I tell you that this sand fairy, they call IT, appears to have an ulterior motive that leads from one wish after another into hilarious, frightful disaster! What really is he up to?
    Five Children & IT written by E.Nesbit
    There is a reason that since its first published date in 1902 it has never been out of print!
    5 Stars!  We are out to get more vintage classics on our shelves!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    TAP HERE!!!!!!!!!!!

    you should read it. i havent read it yet but by looking at the other reviews thst have been posted it looks good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

    Fun

    Funny but some words are discorect

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2008

    When I have kids we are listening to this cd!!!

    I got this 'book' on tape/cd and although I'm 24 I totally loved it. It was so cute, funny, and smart. I can't wait to listen to it with my own kids!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    Five Children and It is a true classic. I enjoyed reading it very much. It is a lovely story that made me laugh from beginning to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2008

    Good Book For Anybody

    This books can be enjoyed by anybody no matter thier age. I know it is meant to be for small children but I first read it when I was 16 and I really enjoyed it. And, if you are a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia, you will probably especially like this book. The children in this book are very reminiscent of the Pevensies. I highly encourage everybody to read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2006

    Truly a classic

    This is one of the *very* few classics I read and liked as a child. Now, of course, I have a much greater appreciation for classic literature, and this still remains one of my favourite stories. The characters are completely endearing and of course, I love the Psammead ('It'). I highly recommend this to anyone, child or adult, looking for a classic that reads fairly quickly and is highly enjoyable!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2004

    the best book ever

    I think this is a grate book I would strongly recomend this book to any child anywhere.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2004

    Five Children and It

    I loved Five Children and It. This was the first book I read by Nesbit. She's an awesome author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2002

    A gentler Narnia and a cure for the Harry-Potter-only syndrome

    When I was 8 (9 years ago), I attempted to read C.S.Lewis' Narnia series, and scared myself silly. My thirst for fantasy was later quenched by Edith Nesbit's psammead series (the 'psammead' is an Egyptian sandfairy that these books are centered on). Psammy and I hit it off immediately. This whirlwind fantasy series is aimed at a slightly younger audience than Lewis' series; they are far more child-friendly, and each book is a pretty quick read. Additionally, the use of Egyptian and other middle-eastern mythology provides an interesting break from most children's European-based fantasy books. I recently recommended this series to a cousin who claimed he liked to read 'Harry Potter and nothing else.' He, too, was swept away by the five children's adventures with It.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2001

    Best E. Nesbit book ever!

    This book, Five Children and It, was the best book by Edith Nesbit. I loved following the adventures of Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and the Lamb. The Lamb was my favorite character even if he wasn't a major main character. My favorite chapters were 'Being Wanted' and 'Grown Up', both involving the Lamb. I really recommend this book. It's on my top five list of favorite books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2000

    More people ought to know what a Psammead is

    This is one of my favorite books of the type. I've read it many times since I first picked it up at the age of nine or so, and enjoy it more at every reading. The sand-fairy's personality is...well, just read the book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2000

    Great book!

    I thought this was a great book and even though it is written on a younger level it is enjoyable for all ages. I also liked the illustrations, I just wich that they were in color. I read in a book called 'Journey to Narnia' by Kathryn Lindskoog that C. S. Lewis loved to read E. Nesbit books when he was young. I have only read 2 of her book but I am on my third. Feel free to E-mail me if you have any questions or whatever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews

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