Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Phoenix and the Carpet” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
The Phoenix and the Ca...
E. Nesbit
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Phoenix and the Carpet (Five Children #2)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  7,567 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
The four children acquired the magic carpet when they found a special fire egg -- it hatched in their nursery fireplace. The phoenix came from the egg, and when he saw their mother's new Persian rug, he showed them that it was a magical thing -- a flying carpet that would take them any time and that place they could wish for. Witty, genuine, full of timeless sympathy and c ...more
Published by McNally & Loftin Publishers (first published 1904)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
That evening, Mother read to them from a book called The Phoenix and the Carpet, which she had had since she was a little girl. Like all the best children's books, it was written to be read aloud; you immediately knew that Mrs. Nesbit had read it aloud to her own children, and every now and then she had put in a little joke for her husband, who was pretending to do something important but was really listening too.

Mrs. Nesbit had a wonderful imagination, and she also had a strong moral sense; so
"I daresay they're not real cats," said Jane madly, "Perhaps they're only dream-cats."
"I'll dream-cat you, my lady," was the brief response of the force."

In regards to this book, I'm going to write something so groundbreaking that I would be willing to bet lots and lots of metaphorical pounds on the fact that no one has ever said, written or even thought about this idea when they closed the pages of Ms Nesbit's wonderful book.

(view spoiler)
Anna Kļaviņa
Sadly, classism, sexism and racism did dampen my enjoyment of this otherwise fantastic children's book.
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I loved this book and the series as a young girl. This book transported me with its imaginative plot and made me want to be one of the lucky children on a magic carpet!

It's one of those timeless children's books that I hope children may still read today. Up there with books like The Famous Five by Enid Blyton and the Trixie Belden series.

One of my all time favourite books as an avid younger reader. 5 magical stars for entertainment, great plot, magic and characters.
Apr 08, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
Delightful Edwardian flying carpet larks. Second book in the 'Five Children and It' trilogy. The endearing 'n' pompous Phoenix is one of my favourite characters in literature.

*wipes tear*
Delightful shenanigans with four children who are left home alone suspiciously often. I had considered only giving it four stars, due to frequent references to savages and naive notions about burglars. Not to mention comments that it's unmanly for boys to cry. But I just can't help myself. It's just too wonderful for four stars. Many thanks go to the Librivox narrator, Helen Taylor, for her beautiful reading.
Nov 27, 2015 Richmonde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Phoenix, he is as vain as Hercule Poirot, but his self-esteem fades as the stories progress. I love his pedantic, precise voice, and the way he washes up the teacups. I agree with another reviewer that the cat episode is almost too painful to be entertaining. Another thing that strikes me when reading as an adult - how affectionate the family is. They are always hugging each other (though the boys think this is a bit soppy), they have warm and loving parents and an adorable baby broth ...more
Oh my! What's going on? It was one of my childhood favorites! OMG. These children are just beyond obnoxious. Their family is described as of moderate means, but they act like completely spoiled brats.

"'Is that being kind to servants and animals, like the clergyman said?' asked Jane."

They don't care for anyone else except themselves and their family. All the others are tools, or plainly invisible to them anyway. There is one nasty scene when they get home by mistake, when only the servants are su
Nov 21, 2010 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard (in a book about little-known classics) that this was a great Christmastime read-aloud. It did take place around Christmastime, but it's not about Christmas at all. Our family loved the first book of this trilogy (Five Children and It), and the Phoenix and the Carpet was almost as good. Nine-year-old Josh loved this book and can't wait to read the third book together. I enjoy E. Nesbit's writing; she is so clever and entertaining and we laughed through this book. Here's a part we enjoyed ...more
C Hellisen
Jan 20, 2012 C Hellisen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, own
While I really enjoyed the writing style of the book, especially the arch little comments on human behaviour, it was hard for me to get past the casual "oh those poor childish savages" racism inherent in books from this era.

I think when the Spawn read this, we'll have a little talk about the racism in books by writers like Nesbit, Blyton and Kipling, and what it says about humanity (and hopefully how we've moved on, at least a little.)
So this is a direct sequel to 'Five Children and It', so if you havn't read that, this might seem a bit odd in places.
I think i rated both books the same, this is superior in places but has a harder time trying to find reasons for things to happen and struggles to avoid repeating itself.
There's some jokes which might appeal to adults rather than kids in places so not a terrible thing if your reading it to someone.
Overall not a huge fan but entertaining enough. I listened to some of it on a ver
Laura Verret
Mar 08, 2011 Laura Verret rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Phoenix was more likeable than the Psammead, but he was still too mythical for my liking. Also, this beginning interchange worries me.....

"'I wish they taught magic at school,' Jane sighed. 'I believe if we could do a little magic it might make something happen.'

'I wonder how you begin?' Robert looked round the room, but he got no ideas from the faded green curtains, or the drab Venetian blinds, or the worn brown oil-cloth on the floor. Even the new carpet suggested nothing, though its patte
Jun 22, 2014 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't read this expecting fantasy. It is more like farce or a comic, but Nesbit never fails to invent human characters and that is primarily what I really get out of her books. Even when including such an exotic animal as the Phoenix, she imbues him with a humorous sense of dignity and ceremony that causes no end of trouble for the children.

Every once in a while Nesbit writes a gem. One of my favorite insightful and thought-provoking ones was: "He felt that he was a blot on the smart beauty of t
Melissa McShane
Jun 14, 2012 Melissa McShane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fantasy, young-adult
I don't like this one as much as Five Children and It, probably because where the Psammead is only grouchy and annoying, the Phoenix is self-centered to the point of getting the kids into trouble. The theme is the same as the first book: the children get three wishes a day from the magic carpet, and as usual their wishes go awry. My favorite of their adventures is where they're flying along, see a tower whose top is the same size as the carpet, and set down only to find that there's no actual ro ...more
Aug 11, 2012 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Her dry wit and observational humour makes these books very readable as an adult - much more like Richmal Crompton than Enid Blyton. Despite being written over a century ago this series is still so fresh and funny. Her warts-and-all portrayal of children is a lot more genuine than some other classics of the era.
Aug 31, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, nesbit
The common advice to would-be fiction authors is to “write about what you know”. A phoenix and a flying carpet aren’t of course really within one’s everyday experience, but at heart the events that take place and many of this fantasy’s settings are taken from real life, a fair few of which hark back to Nesbit’s own childhood in the Victorian period.

The reminiscences in Long Ago When I Was Young, though only first published as a collection in 1966, were serialised before Nesbit embarked on her ca
Lona Manning
Before J.K. Rowling, there was Edith Nesbit.
4.5 stars
read for school

I thought this book was awesome. I watched the Psammead BBC specials when I was younger, and was happy to be reading a book by the same author for school. I thought this book was everything a children's novel should be.
Jan 10, 2017 Jodi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
We unanimously rejected this book by the time we reached chapter three. We encountered passage after uncomfortable passage that wove in a dabbling into sorcery, a twisting and muddling of absolutes, a pitting of children against adults and a disrespect for those in positions of authority, sly behavior and deceit.

After reading Goodreads' bio on the author, I suspected that this book might be irredeemable and chose not to continue with it. We had many discussions during our brief foray into this
The phoenix, in its modesty, insists on being listed first, but its practical role is more of a translator. The phoenix does have magical powers, but they're more along the line of linguistic skill.

Frankly, the phoenix could have given better advice without much effort. It's too inclined to resort to tactics like blackmail.

This book is (not unexpectedly for its time) racist, classist, and even somewhat misogynistic (though the latter is more in the attitudes of the children themselves than elsew
Sep 25, 2016 Radek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book of my childhood, still perfectly enjoyable read.
Jingle ❤️
Sep 15, 2016 Jingle ❤️ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics

Rating: 2.5 Stars


' "I must get rid of that carpet at once," said mother.

But what the children said in sad whispers to each other, as they pondered over last night's events, was -

"We must get rid of that Phoenix." '

When I first read Five Children and It, I had been entranced by how the children played together, took care of each other and got into all their scrapes. However, when I got down to reading the sequel it felt like something had changed. Back in their home, do
Jul 04, 2016 Emma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
'The Phoenix and the Carpet' is a childhood classic that many of us know and love. It follows on from 'Five Children and It', showing the lives of five siblings as they unexpectedly find themselves in possession of a carpet that grants wishes. The carpet comes with a phoenix egg which soon hatches into a brilliant (and conceited) Phoenix. This is a story full of magic, quests and good deeds; one that everybody should read at least once in their lifetime.

I've read 'The Phoenix and the Carpet' lon
Cynthia Egbert
Nov 05, 2015 Cynthia Egbert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I read them out of order but it matters not, Nesbit charms at every level. If you have young children or if you are a soul who loves fairy tales, please read the adventures of these delightful children.
The quotes that caught my fancy:

"Father and mother had not the least idea of what had happened in their absence. This is often the case, even when there are no magic carpets or Phoenixes in the house."

"We mustn't expect old heads on young shoulders."

"Mother was really a great dear. She was pretty

Children might be tempted to believe that there are Wish Granters floating about--if one can only Find them! This fanciful tale is set in Victorian England--an era of gas jets, scullery maids and coal hobs. Four children (as in THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE) discover a special fire egg which hatches in their nursery fireplace. Then their mother purchases a Persian carpet, which provides the vehicle for Space (if not Time) Travel. The Persian rug even responds to
East Bay J
Dec 06, 2011 East Bay J rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
What a delightful surprise. I picked this up on a whim and it turned out to be a well written and endearing children's story about four siblings who discover a phoenix and a magic carpet, sending them off on the most extraordinary adventures.

However, I must point out a few things that you may wish to consider before reading this to your little ones. First off, Edith Nesbit was a bigot. It's nothing too blatant but it's there, whether she's referring to Africans as "savages" or having the phoenix
Matilda Rose
Oct 09, 2012 Matilda Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the second in the trilogy, Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother buy an enchanted wishing carpet! Cyril (also known as Squirrel), Anthea (known as Panther), Robert (Bobs), Jane (Pussy), and their brother (the Lamb) accidentally hatch a Phoenix egg in the fire which Bobs found in the carpet! The five children are overjoyed, but, as it is with magic, rarely everything goes as planned..

When the children wish for milk for the 199 Persian cats they had due to the wishing carpet, the
Keertana Pillai
Oct 28, 2016 Keertana Pillai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit, is the first of its kind, in the Fantasy genre, arriving years before the Lord of the Rings series or the Narnia series or the all-time favourite, the Harry Potter series.
E. Nesbit wonderfully relates the fascinating and spellbinding adventures of the children Cyril, Andrea, Jane, Robert and the Lamb in this book and its prequel and sequel.
The children are trying out fireworks obtained at a cheap price so as not to be "embarrassed" in front of the neighb
Jun 24, 2013 Hollowspine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
After reading Five Children and It, I was compelled to find out if more stories about the five children existed and soon enough here I am reading the Phoenix and the Carpet, which stars the same five children, though this one concentrates mainly on the older four, who discover, in the folds of their new nursery carpet a beautiful egg, which ends up in the coals of the fireplace during some small scuffle. Thus is reborn the Phoenix, who informs the children about the magic qualities of their carp ...more
Nov 14, 2013 Drew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_to_kids
The lesser-known sequel to Five Children and It turns out to be just as cheeky as the original (if not moreso), though the plot is essentially the same: four children (the baby comes into this story even less than he does in the first book) are given wishes, which don't quite turn out as expected. Instead of a Psammead, this book features a flying Wishing Carpet and a golden Phoenix who acts as a sort of middleman or go-between for the children and the carpet.

The Phoenix is just as singular a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Time Garden (Tales of Magic, #4)
  • Treasure of Green Knowe (Green Knowe, #2)
  • Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves Chronicles, #2)
  • Pigeon Post (Swallows and Amazons, #6)
  • The Borrowers Aloft (The Borrowers #4)
  • The Magic Summer
  • Charlotte Sometimes
  • Finn Family Moomintroll (The Moomins, #3)
Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet; she published her books for children under the name of E. Nesbit.
She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later connec
More about E. Nesbit...

Other Books in the Series

Five Children (3 books)
  • Five Children and It (Five Children, #1)
  • The Story of the Amulet (Five Children, #3)

Share This Book

“But it’s raining cats and dogs,’ said Jane.” 0 likes
“The ones I got are all right,’ Jane said; ‘I know they are, because the man at the shop said they were worth thribble the money–’ ‘I’m sure thribble isn’t grammar,’ Anthea said. ‘Of course it isn’t,’ said Cyril; ‘one word can’t be grammar all by itself, so you needn’t be so jolly clever.” 0 likes
More quotes…