Saturday, September 11, 2010

Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit

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.


Christopher said...

I thought this review was unfortunately short before I read my own. Nothing to see here, folks.

Brent Waggoner said...

This review IS unfortunately short. I was feeling lazy.