Five Children and It Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Five Children and It

This classic of children's literature dates from 1902. Four children -- Robert, Anthea, Jane, and Cyril (the fifth is their infant brother known as Lamb) -- are playing at a sand pit when they stumble on a Psammead: an ancient sand fairy that will grant a wish a day, which lasts only as long as the sun is visible. Over the succeeding days, the kids learn how many ways that wishes can backfire on them -- they wish for money they can't get anyone to accept, beauty that makes them unrecognizable to their family and servants, wings that leave them stranded on a rooftop, a castle under very real siege by a knightly army -- and how to choose well and avoid having to lie. The storytelling style is quaint but the tale is skillfully told.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Although it's hard to categorize in this system, Five Children and It is one of the all-time classics of children's literature - and, unlike some classics, it's still a barrel of fun to read today. Four children (Cyril, Anthea, Robert, and Jane) - the fifth child mentioned in the title is their baby brother, the Lamb - are staying in a house in the country for the summer when they discover a strange creature called the Psammead. The Psammead is an exceptionally curmudgeonly creature who, if properly appeased, can and will grant one wish per day - but the effects only last until sundown. One wish after another goes badly for the children, as they are thwarted repeatedly by the Psammead. When they wish for wings, they get stuck on the roof of a house. When they wish for beauty, they are shut out of their own house. When they wish for riches, they get it but can't spend it. And so on. Eventually, the magic puts them in a moral quandry that they must resolve.
The review of this Book prepared by Ivy

Chapter Analysis of Five Children and It

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   humorous or laughable FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   coping with mental/magical powers Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Kid's book (ages 7-14) Family relations    -   Yes

Main Character

Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid


Earth setting:    -   20th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Edith Nesbit Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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