The Phoenix and the Carpet (Five Children, #2)
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The Phoenix and the Carpet (Five Children #2)

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  5,328 ratings  ·  88 reviews
It's startling enough to have a phoenix hatch in your house, but even more startling when it talks and reveals that you have a magic carpet on the floor. The vain and ancient bird accompanies the children on a series of adventures through time and space. This book is a sequel to Five Children and It.
Paperback, 289 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by Puffin (first published 1904)
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Manny
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...more
Jo
"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)...more
Rebecca
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*
Anna  Matsuyama
Sadly, classism, sexism and racism did dampen my enjoyment of this otherwise fantastic children's book.
Alicia
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
Tocotin
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...more
Melissa Proffitt
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
Brian
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...more
Cat Hellisen
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.)
Lindsay
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.
Frances
This is the second in the series that began with Five Children and It. The five children- minus the participation, in most adventures, of the baby- have another series of adventures, this time with two magical creatures. The storytelling here is more uneven. I found some scenes, like the ritual ceremony of the insurance executives, and the basement full of kittens, absurdly funny. Other chapters, the ones involving the children's slaves, were uncomfortable. The children are very clearly portraye...more
Valerie
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...more
Laura
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...more
Drew
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...more
Hollowspine
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
Gale
DELIGHTFUL PERSIAN BLEND!

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...more
Chris
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...more
J
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...more
Brandi
The Phoenix and the Carpet is the imaginative (and witty) second book of the Psammead series. Like Five Children and It, it tells the adventures of four children (sometimes five) who face the consequences of the many choices they make.

For those of you who've read Harry Potter, the phoenix in this book is very different than Fawkes. It doesn't have healing powers, and indeed, I think it'd be utterly revolted if it were made into a pet. But don't worry - it's a very unique bird; in fact, it would...more
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit.

The Phoenix and the Carpet is Edith Nesbit’s sequel to Five Children and It, a collection of charming children’s stories published in 1902 which told how five siblings discovered a sand fairy which granted them a wish each day and how the children kept bungling what they wished for.

In The Phoenix and the Carpet, the children accidentally set fire to their nursery (while playing with fireworks!) and a new carpet must be brought in. This, unbeknownst to their parents, i...more
Fantasy Literature
The Phoenix and the Carpet is Edith Nesbit’s sequel to Five Children and It, a collection of charming children’s stories published in 1902 which told how five siblings discovered a sand fairy which granted them a wish each day and how the children kept bungling what they wished for.

In The Phoenix and the Carpet, the children accidentally set fire to their nursery (while playing with fireworks!) and a new carpet must be brought in. This, unbeknownst to their parents, is an enchanted carpet which...more
Solla
This is the second book of the five children who run into magic beings. In this one they run into a Phoenix in an insurance office in the middle of London. The children include two boys, two girls and a baby brother. Girls and boys have equal roles. The time is early 1900's and the place is England, in London with holidays in the country. In this book especially there is a sense of London and the poorer parts of it.

The previous volume is the Five Children and It and the next is The Story of the...more
Kristine Pratt
There is something delightful in hundred-year-old children's adventure books. E. Nesbit wrote fantasy before it was 'cool' and honestly did a better job of it than most modern writers. She blends the everyday life with the fantastic beautifully, making it really quite believable that a group of children can not only find a magic carpet, but a phoenix as well. Of course, adventures ensue.

I'm not reading these in order and I rather wish I had now. But even so, going back someday and re-reading th...more
Charles Streams
I decided to continued reading this trilogy of books. I do have to admit I place this second book higher than the first, but it was too much of the same for me. The kids once again have this incredible opportunity to have a magic carpet take them wherever they want, but they bicker so much they never get to go anywhere interesting. Any children like that would've taken advantage of the opportunity, even if they had to say each of them got to decide where to go on a certain day. Again, such great...more
Karin
This is the second in a trilogy. The first, The Five Children and It, was a lot more capturing. These books were written in England in 1904 so some of the language is different than we are used to. This book had some funny parts, but some parts were kind of odd and it dragged a little between adventures. In this book they find a magic phoenix and a carpet that take them on adventures when they make a wish. We (my boys and I) started the last book and are enjoying it. In the third book the kids f...more
Lynn Joshua
Another fun story from E. Nesbit, one of my favorite authors.
Cari
This children's book was silly and unrealistic, but I can't deny that I found it amusing. Cute story.
Rebekah
The story premises is good. Phoenix and magic carpets always make a fun story. The children are bratish though. They drove me nut all the way through.
Nancy
This was one of my favourite books as a child. I read this book many, many times.

I loved the image of the phoenix rising from the ashes - and have used that image many times in my journey as I rose from the ashes - not dead - just new again.

I loved the fact that there were four children in the family and they were all in on the secret of the Phoenix. And I loved the freedom the children had in making wishes and being transported on a magic carpet.

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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
More about E. Nesbit...
The Railway Children Five Children and It (Five Children, #1) The Enchanted Castle The Enchanted Castle & Five Children and It The Story of the Treasure Seekers (Bastable Children, #1)

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