Five Children and It
Author: Edith Nesbit
9781853261244 | PB | pp. 188 | 1993 | Wordsworth Editions
The five children find a cantankerous sand fairy in a gravel pit. Every day ‘It’ will grant each of them a wish that lasts until sunset, often with disastrous consequences.
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While exploring the environs of their summer home, five brothers and sisters find a Psammead, or Sand-fairy, in a nearby gravel pit, “Its eyes were on long horns like a snail’s eyes, and it could move them in and out like telescopes, it had ears like a bat’s ears, and its tubby body was shaped like a spider’s and covered with thick soft fur, its legs and arms were furry too, and it had hands and feet like a monkey’s.” The Psammead is magical and, every day, the ancient and irritable creature grants each of them a wish that lasts until sunset. Soon, though, they find their wishes never seem to turn out right and often have unexpected and humorous consequences. But when an accidental wish goes terribly wrong, the children learn that magic, like life, can be as complicated as it is exciting. This edition contains an enchanting introduction by children’s literature scholar Gillian Avery about the complex and unconventional, and includes all of the original illustrations, suggestions for further reading, and explanatory notes.
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