Five Children and It
Age Range: Children
Period: Early 20th C
Cyril, Robert, Anthea, Jane and their baby brother find a Psammead (a sand fairy) in a gravel pit and it promises them one wish a day, whose effects will vanish at sunset. They wish - intentionally and otherwise - for several things and none goes entirely according to plan.
The appeal of this book is the combination of magic and reality (at least reality for children at the turn of the century). The wish-granting genie was nothing new when this book was written, but to make the magical being a rather cratchety old creature, and then to leave the children with very everyday problems as a result of their wishes (they wish for gold, but no-one in Rochester will accept it) makes the book attractive even now.
Tuesday 1st January 2002