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 children are and the “it” referred to in the title of this book.
Five Children And It is an extremely interesting story. I love the concept of the sand-fairy, in fact I am fascinated with the name “Psammead” that E. Nesbit (“E” stands for Edith) came up with to refer to a sand fairy. The adventures of the children with the wishes they asked from the Psammead were humorous and witty. I would have enjoyed this book more if I were a child. You know how wild are the imaginations of a child. 😉
Aside from the funny (mis)adventures of the children, I love how the wishes the children got taught them valuable lessons which the adults can also learn from. One particular wish I liked was when one of the four older children wished that their baby brother would grow up. The result was outrageous but taught them a lesson about grown ups and growing up.
***SPOILER ENDS HERE***
E. Nesbit is an eloquent storyteller, though there have been times in the story that she has been too condescending towards her treatment of the characters who are all children. Or maybe, I am just too old for this kind of tone. Somehow, reading the book gives out the feeling like I am reading C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.
Now, if you can have one wish, what would you wish for? Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.
A totally enchanting story. I would gladly recommend Five Children And It to kids and kids at heart.
31/50 2011 Goodreads Reading Goal.
6/51 501 Must Read Children’s Books.