Five Children and It
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Five Children and It (Five Children #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  10,749 ratings  ·  446 reviews
Robert, Cyril, Anthea, Jane, and Baby brother "Lamb" find an ancient Psammead sandfairy who grants them one wish per day. But whatever they wish turns wrong. They try "beautiful as the day", "wealth beyond avarice", angel wings to fly, defending a besieged castle, raiding Red Indians, and more. Diamonds for Mother on her return is the last straw.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1902)
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Manny
Somehow I missed reading Five Children and It when I was a child myself, so when I saw a copy at a yard sale I had to buy it. It only cost 10p, and the little girl who sold it to me looked rather like an E. Nesbit heroine, very serious, with huge dark eyes. The plot is a variant on "be careful what you wish for", one of her favourite themes. Some of the episodes are excellent, and it's full of delightful asides. But the construction is rather loose, and the ending is weak. I think she was dissat...more
Margaret
Nesbit is the great-grandma of pretty nearly all the children's fantasy books we love, the first author to write really wittily for kids and without condescending to them, and the originator of the basic structure that carries on through C.S. Lewis and Edward Eager and even in a way Jo Rowling: four children, usually siblings or cousins but sometimes friends, stumble on a magical something that leads them into a series of fantastic adventures and important discoveries (gently conveyed) about the...more
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 25, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Shelves: childrens, 501, funny
Five children practically left on this own in a English countryside. This book was published in 1902, almost 50 years before C. S. Lewis wrote his The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

However, the similarity ends there. The story of Five Children and It does not bring you to a magical world at the back of a wardrobe. Rather, what the five children, Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane, and their baby brother, the Lamb find is a Psammead or a sand fairy has gotten buried in the sand since the Stone Age. T...more
Kwoomac
This novel was written in 1902. The author Edith Nesbit tells the story of five children (obviously) who come across a psammead, a sand fairy, while playing in a deserted gravel pit. This is one of the earliest examples of children left on their own who then have great adventures. Tha family goes to a house in the country on holiday when their father is called back to work and their mother leaves them to take care of her own sick mother. The children are basically on their own, minimally supervi...more
Anna
2-2,5 stars.
At first I thought I wasn't in mood for this book, but then I realised that even in my happiest and most cheerful moments I didn't enjoy this book whole lot.

I remember really liking the movie adaptation and laughing out loud few times while watching it, but I haven't got this effect with book, which disappointed me...:(
Didn't like any of the characters (humans, I mean, because Psammead was fun little dude - ha, he'd be furious for calling him "dude"), kids were really annoying and t...more
Lynai
If you can have one wish, what would it be? This could be a tough question to answer. How about this: If you know a fairy who can grant your every wish, what will you do? These are the questions that confronted five children – Cyril, Robert, Anthea, Jane, and Hilary, the baby who is also fondly called as Lamb – when they discovered a Psammead (pronounced “Sammyad”), or sand-fairy, in a gravel pit near their house. With the primary characters now named, it is fairly easy to infer who the five chi...more
Tocotin
It was one of my favorites when I was little. I'm surprised and sad... I don't like it at all now. Don't hate it either, but... The children are forcibly cute, neither intelligent nor sensitive (especially towards their inferiors; the adventure with the baker's boy was simply odious), there is a lot of really STUPID (as in, unnecessary and excessive even for the period the book was written) sexism, and there is quite a big dose of preaching, and also xenophobia... really sad.

I may try the next b...more
Sally
This is an age-old fable tale of "be careful what you wish for," told in a way that is entirely suitable for children to read or have read to them. I would suggest the appropriate audience age would be 6-11 or 12. It is not heavy reading and only about 2 hours long (audiobook), but it is an entertaining tale even some adults might enjoy. I think books of this sort appeal to children, or the adult who remembers childhood, because the main characters are children themselves. The way the story chil...more
Katie
Five Children and It tells the story of Robert, Anthea, Cyril and Jane and their baby brother, known affectionately as the Lamb. While holidaying in the country, their parents are both unexpectedly called away for various reasons, leaving the children to entertain themselves all summer. On the first day, they go to play in an old gravel pit and there they uncover a mysterious creature: a Psammead. These sand fairies have the ability to grant wishes which will last only until sunset. However, the...more
Kat  Hooper
4.5 stars
Originally posted at FanLit:

Five Children and It combines eleven stories that Edith Nesbit wrote about five siblings who discovered a wish-granting fairy called The Psammead in the sandlot of the house they recently moved into. The stories were originally serialized in shorter form in Strand Magazine in 1900. The first story (the first chapter of the novel) tells how the children moved from London to Kent, explored their new house and yard, and found the Psammead. He grumpily agrees to...more
Krista
Nesbit is the grandmother of children's fantasy literature. Written in 1902, Five Children and It can be considered to have inspired many who came later, including Edward Eager, whose Tales of Magic series owes a great debt to Nesbit (this Eager freely admits)

The book shows its age but it is much more accessible than the other books I've read that she penned. Five siblings find a creature who will grant one wish a day and madcap hilarity ensues, replete with political incorrectness and reference...more
Austen to Zafón
I wish I'd read them earlier, but I didn't read Nesbit's books until I was in high school. This was the first one I read and I loved it. The children are refreshingly normal. They bicker, they make mistakes, they are tender but also sometimes selfish. I found later that that is a hallmark of Nesbit's writing. In this story, the five sibling's find a grumpy but magic creature who will give them one wish every day. Of course, wishes don't always work out as one planned. If you loved Half Magic or...more
Chagall
Sorprendente! Ha più di cent’anni e non li dimostra. È una piccola enciclopedia del fantastico con la sua girandola di trovate e avventure. Ma è lo stile a far brillare queste storie. Fresco, ironico, pungente; la scrittrice mi ha convinto irrimediabilmente che la Terra è piatta. L’unica pecca è il mio povero inglese, che mi ha tolto il piacere di una lettura scorrevole, ma ne è valsa la pena. Assolutamente da riscoprire.
Kate Forsyth
I’ve read this book many times before but it never fails to enchant me. What struck me most on this reading was Edith Nesbit’s playfulness. Most contemporary children’s writers seem to have lost this quality – all is dark and earnest and pedestrian. I’ve made myself a promise not to forget to play.
Tracey, librarian on strike
Review purely for the Librivox edition of Five Children and It - I love the book, but this was awful. Various narrators - unfortunately un-listen-to-able. How can you read Five Children and It and not be able to pronounce "Anthea" and "Psammead"??
Dave
Perhaps the best book title ever. Love E. Nesbit's narrative voice. Some choice bits:

"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 so 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, co...more
Barb Middleton
Ever read a book that you know is supposed to be funny, but you didn't find it so? I chuckled once in awhile but for the most part I got tired of the children's adventures that inevitably went wrong. Nesbit does a nice job capturing the nature of these children. They are loyal to each other and squabble at the same time. Maybe it is because I'm an adult. Maybe I've read too many genie-in-a-bottle stories and its become clichéd for me. Or maybe the adult narrator with comments on being a child di...more
Lucinda
This is a heartwarming story that never fails to bring a smile to my face, and it is something that i love as much now as i did when i was a child. It is set during the second world war where five children are sent to relatives in the countryside, and there they encounter a strange and magical creature. This is a story that is centered around friendship and love and one that is beautifully touching and emotive, which will really touch your heart. The saying "be careful what you wish for" is the...more
Jemima Pett
There’s a sort of mindset you have to put yourself in when you tackle some of the children’s classics. It doesn’t apply to all the classic children's books I’ve read, but it does apply to most of those written in the period 1930-1950. There’s a sort of suspension of belief, a need to be jollied along with the tale, and an understanding that children were just, well, different then. Maybe it’s just style. But it seems that readers of Five Children and It are expected to be wide-eyed at the advent...more
blindmouse
Classic children's fantasy. Five children discover a Psammead, or sand fairy - a bizarre, foul-tempered little thing, pathologically frightened of water - in the quarry near their home. He grants them a wish per day - but somehow the wishes always seem to go wrong.

I'd actually not read any E. Nesbit before (so I suppose THE RAILWAY CHILDREN is next). This was delightful, obviously. I almost didn't want the magic to come in, I was enjoying the non-magical intro so much.

I do love the way we worke...more
Hollowspine
What a lovely and fun book!

I read this story aloud with my family while on vacation, which really was perfect.

It wasn't what I expected at all, which was a more whimsical British fairy-tale with a moral lesson, but what I got was far superior. The story was very clever and would be fun for both children and adults to read, especially together. I can imagine better readers than myself putting on voices for each of the characters, which would heighten the fun even further. I may even look around...more
Shel
Nesbit, E. (2004). Five Children and It. New York: Puffin Books.



9780140367355



Five children (thus the first part of the title of this book—although one of the five kids is a baby and is not involved in all of the events) leave their London home with their mother visit the countryside for a week. Within hours of their arrival they discover an ancient sand fairy living in a gravel-pit. The grumpy fairy grants the children one wish each day. The catch? The wishes only last one day and the kids never...more
Vu K
Trẻ con thường mơ ước những chuyện thần tiên.

Tôi nhớ hồi bé từng mê mẩn trước không gian của những thảo nguyên bao la có những chàng tráng sĩ Nga và câu chuyện nấu cháo bằng rìu, hay câu thần chú hiệu nghiệm "việc gì làm từ sáng thì làm mãi đến chiều" khiến cô gái tốt bụng thì đo vải mà miếng vải cứ tự nhiên kéo dài ra mãi không thôi, trong khi bà chủ xấu tính thì 'hắt xì' một cái là cả buổi cứ hắt hơi mãi. Hay chàng Hans sắt với mái tóc vàng óng, hay câu chuyện về chàng dũng sĩ nhổ ba sợi tóc c...more
Judy
Feb 11, 2012 Judy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: classic children's books lovers
Recommended to Judy by: Dan
My brother pawned this book off on me so I felt obligated to read it. Considering he and I have recently divergent tastes in books I didn't expect much, but surprise! it turned out to be a delightful book.

This chapter book centers around five children staying with their caring but unimaginative housekeeper at a country house near a sand pit. The children discover a grumpy psammead (sand fairy) who grants them a wish a day. Of course, this results in good lessons, predicaments and missed suppers....more
Gale
“Be careful what you wish for…!”

Four children in turn-of the century England (and a two year old baby called the Lamb) make the discovery of an unusual creature in a sand pit: the Psammead, or Sand Fairy. Of course no adult would believe in It’s existence or its super-magical ability to grant wishes--that is, one wish per day, which lasts until sundown. While the children’s parents are on an extended visit to an ailing grandparent, the kids are left in the care of Martha and the Cook at their...more
Angela
Five children go exploring one day for something to do and find an amazing "being". They stumble across a sand fairy that has the ability to grant them one wish a day. They think they have struck it rich, but soon find that the things they often wished for were not the best ideas after all. They are pleased to discover that when the day ends the wish also seems to end, but that doesn't help them at all during the day when their wishes are seeming like the worst ideas they ever had. They soon lea...more
Xenophon Hendrix
The book is both funny and witty. I wish I had read it when I was a child. The dialog is sharp, and except for one chapter, all of the human characters behave in realistic ways.

I wish I could give the book extra points for the deeply politically incorrect chapter featuring American Indians, but alas, it is the only silly chapter in the book. I despise PC as much as the next amateur subversive, but political incorrectness should be reserved for speaking truth. This chapter, unfortunately, display...more
Zelda
This charming classic tale of five spunky British children who stumble upon a wish-granting sand fairy will not only look splendid on your bookshelf but it will make Ambien seem like some kind of 12-horse powered, super upper by comparison. By that I mean, oh my gaw, please kill me before I have to read one more word of this.

But my kids loved it! Here's why: I would literally doze off mid-sentence while I was reading it aloud to them. But I would still be reading and my garbled sentence would ma...more
Melissa Proffitt
Just needed something familiar to de-stress. Much as I love this story, and the hopelessness of the children (they believe the Psammead, in granting their wishes, is maliciously granting them in the worst possible way, but it's obvious to me that in some way this is a comment on how we don't really think about what might happen if our wishes came true), I'm more annoyed than I used to be about Nesbit's reflexive girl/boy characterizations, girls being weepy and boys being stalwart. It's not iron...more
Michele Velthuizen
Interest level: 5th +
Reading level: medium
Genre: fantasy, humor, classics, fairies, sand fairies

This book was written over 100 years ago, so you'll notice that the language a bit old-fashioned; nevertheless it's a timeless story about five children who discover a creature - a Psammead (an ancient odd-looking sand fairy) - that grants them a wish a day that lasts until sunset. But it's a hard to think of sensible wishes so the children soon find out that every wish they ask for ends up in disaste...more
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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 The Phoenix and the Carpet (Five Children, #2) The Enchanted Castle The Enchanted Castle & Five Children and It The Story of the Treasure Seekers (Bastable Children, #1)

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“For really there is nothing like wings for getting you into trouble. But, on the other hand, if you are in trouble, there is nothing like wings for getting you out of it.” 2 likes
“They didn't know being dead is only being asleep, and you're bound to wake up somewhere or other, either where you go to sleep or some better place.” 0 likes
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