It is wonderful how quickly you get used to things, even the most astonishing. Five minutes before, the children had had no more idea than you that there was such a thing as a sand-fairy in the world, and now they were talking to it as though they had known it all their lives.
I had never heard of this book before finding it for free on Barnes and Noble’s weekly “Free Classics” series. I downloaded it because it sounded like it would be short, and then, upon finishing it, I realized that Chris actually read and reviewed this way back in 2008. So, there’s the story.
Anyway, Five Children and It is a children's novel written in 1901. Apparently it’s fairly popular in Europe, even getting a recent film adaptation in 2004 with Freddie Highmore. The plot follows five children who find a sammyadd, or sand fairy, who is compelled to grant them one wish a day, whether he wants to or not. Of course, the wishes all go awry, as wishes in these sorts of stories are prone to do.
It’s a comic novel, thematically boiling down to “be careful what you wish for” and, in the end, “do unto others as you would have them to do unto you”. It’s a nice sentiment for a nice little story. I liked how the narrator threw in little asides to explain various things, and how it acted as sort of a moral compass for the reader. And, that’s about all I have to say.