Thursday, December 11, 2008

Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit

Five Children and It relates the adventures of five siblings who discover a Psammead, or Sand Fairy. The children get a wish every day, which evaporates at sunset. Of course everything they wish for gets them into all sorts of trouble. In the end, getting what you desire ends up being more trouble than it’s worth.

Alas, you get to the end of the book and you’re left tantalisingly in the air. Will the children ever get to see the Sand Fairy again? ‘They did see it again, of course, but not in this story. And it was not in a sand pit either, but in a very, very, very different place. It was in a – But I must say no more.’

There are further sequels to this book, as that ending suggests.

I loved the curmudgeonly Sand Fairy whose air of ennui gave me a chuckle. It will be interesting to read of what else the Psammead gets up to in his spare time.

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