Digging in the gravel pit on a hot summer's day, five children discover 'it': a grumpy creature with eyes like a snail's, ears like a bat's, and a tubby body all covered in fur. 'It' is a Psammead, an ancient sand-fairy who has the power to grant the children one wish a day.
That, you might think, would be a dream come true! But you need to be very careful what you wish for: whether it's for wings, treasure or beauty, things can - and often will - go wrong.
With all the illustrations by H. R. Millar, newly scanned from the original edition.
Five Children and It is the first book in the Psammead trilogy: next, discover The Phoenix and the Carpet and The Story of the Amulet.
'The cheerful, child-centred anarchy of Five Children and It is still my inspiration and delight' Kate Saunders, Guardian
'My all-time favourite classic children's author' Jacqueline Wilson
'If Britain is to children's fantasy as Brazil is to football, then Edith Nesbit is our Pele - endlessly surprising and inventive. But she is more than that. There were fantasy writers before Edith Nesbit but she is the one that brought the magical and the mundane together in a moment of nuclear fusion. She opened the door in the magic wardrobe, pointed the way to platform nine and three quarters. She even had a hand in building the Tardis. And these are among her minor achievements. She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had, while being the one who could most easily and sweetly break your heart with a phrase. Just try saying "Daddy oh my Daddy" without catching your breath. She made the magic worlds feel as near as the Lewisham Road and she bathed the Lewisham Road in magic' Frank Cottrell-Boyce
This collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.
About the Author
Edith Nesbit (1858-1924) is perhaps most famous for writing The Railway Children and Five Children and It, but she was extremely prolific and wrote or collaborated on more than sixty children's books. Nesbit is today recognised as one of the most influential and innovative children's writers that ever lived, and is cited as an inspiration by many contemporary authors, including J. K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Jacqueline Wilson, Kate Saunders and Frank Cottrell-Boyce. Even C. S. Lewis acknowledged the debt his Narnia series owed to her work - particularly the Bastable and Psammead trilogies.
Read an Excerpt
* CHAPTER 1 *
Excerpted from "Five Children and It"
Copyright © 2008 E. Nesbit.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1. Beautiful as the Day
2. Golden Guineas
3. Being Wanted
5. No Wings
6. A Castle and No Dinner
7. A Siege and Bed
8. Bigger Than the Baker's Boy
9. Grown Up
11. The Last Wish
What People are Saying About This
Winner of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show, organized by Design Observer in association with AIGA and Designers & Books
Winner of the 2014 Type Directors Club Communication Design Award
Praise for Penguin Drop Caps:
"[Penguin Drop Caps] convey a sense of nostalgia for the tactility and aesthetic power of a physical book and for a centuries-old tradition of beautiful lettering."
“Vibrant, minimalist new typographic covers…. Bonus points for the heartening gender balance of the initial selections.”
—Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"The Penguin Drop Caps series is a great example of the power of design. Why buy these particular classics when there are less expensive, even free editions of Great Expectations? Because they’re beautiful objects. Paul Buckley and Jessica Hische’s fresh approach to the literary classics reduces the design down to typography and color. Each cover is foil-stamped with a cleverly illustrated letterform that reveals an element of the story. Jane Austen’s A (Pride and Prejudice) is formed by opulent peacock feathers and Charlotte Bronte’s B (Jane Eyre) is surrounded by flames. The complete set forms a rainbow spectrum prettier than anything else on your bookshelf."
—Rex Bonomelli, The New York Times
"Classic reads in stunning covers—your book club will be dying."