Marshmallow wanted to talk about E. Nesbit’s book Five Children and It today. Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.
Sprinkles: So Marshmallow can you tell us a bit about this book?
Marshmallow: Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and Lamb the baby dig a hole to reach Australia. While they are digging, they find a strange creature called Psammead (a sand-fairy) that can grant wishes. At the beginning, the children wish to be as beautiful as the day and to have a lot of gold but then they realize that they must be more careful when they are making wishes. Whenever they make a wish, they always end up in trouble.
S: Oh, does this book remind you of another?
M: It’s kind of similar to Half Magic by Edward Eager. Just like in that book, the children find this object or fairy that grants them wishes and they eventually find that they need to think carefully about what they will wish for.
S: So what more can you tell us?
M: This is an interesting book that will beg the question, “If you could wish for anything. what would you wish for?”
I thoroughly enjoyed reading it because it was interesting how when the children wished for something like to be beautiful or when they wished to have wings, there was a problem. For example, when they wished to be “as beautiful as the day” after they tried to interact with their baby brother Lamb (whose real and full name is Hilary St. Maul Devereux). They then change and Lamb does not recognize them because they look different. Also when they try to go to their house their nursemaid does not let them in because they look different and not like their old selves. They get very hungry and thirsty and they realize that it was not a great idea to have wished to be “as beautiful as the day.”
S: What more do you want to say?
M: This is a very entertaining book, and very well written. It will make you want to read on to learn what wish the children make next.
S: Yes, they do make some strange wishes, don’t they? What did you think of the illustrations?
M: I thought the pictures were very successful.
S: And you have some thoughts on the characters?
M: Yes! Especially I liked the fact that the children act like children. Kind of like in the Ivy + Bean books!
S: This is a very old book. It could be the oldest book you have read. What do you think of that?
M: It is an old book. It does have some stereotypes, like girls always cry, and boys never do. But overall it is a good book.
S: Ok, so what would you have wished for if you had met Psammead?
M: I don’t know. What would you wish for?
S: I don’t know, either. It is a hard question, without all the challenges this particular sand-fairy brings. Maybe I’d wish for some good meal, or a good night’s sleep. Something simple like that… Or I could wish for a good book to read. This was one, you say?
M: Yes! I’d rate it 95%. And I really want to add this last sentence: Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!