Five Children and It Audible Audiobook – Abridged
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Robert, Anthea, Jane, Cyril and the Lamb are on holiday at the White House, a beautiful place on the edge of a hill with a chalk quarry one side and a gravel-pit on the other. Before they have even been there a week, they make an amazing discovery. Digging in the gravel-pit, they find a fairy! The Psammead is brown, furry, fat and shaped like a spider- as well as being very old, and very grumpy. But most importantly, the creature can grant wishes, and the children are soon having the most wonderful adventures...
An abridged reading by Lynda Bellingham of E. Nesbit's classic tale.
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|Listening Length||1 hour and 5 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 02, 2012|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #190,226 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#977 in Fiction Classics for Children
#6,474 in Children's Classics
Top reviews from the United States
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The language is a bit different from what we use today but it never felt cumbersome or boring. In fact, the "old-fashioned" feel really made the story that much more fun. Of course, of all the interesting words and phrases that we read and talked about, my daughter decided to start using the term "stow it" which the 2 brothers impolitely used on each other! Actually, I confess to having used the phrase a few times myself since we finished the book!! This book is definitely still relevant to today's reader and I highly recommend reading it to your child.
Spoiler alert: at the end of the book the Psammead asks Anthea to make a wish for him. He wants her to wish that the children will never be able to tell anyone about him. Anthea agrees and makes the wish. I was stasified with that ending but my daughter correctly pointed out that since the wishes only last 24 hours they could just tell about the Psammead the next day if they wanted. Great point!! Her astute conclusion made the story suddenly feel not quite as neatly wrapped up as I thought so perhaps we will move on to the sequel!
"Five Children and It" is a classic tale of adventure featuring five children, i.e. Robert, Anthea, Jane, Cyril, and their baby brother. They decide to dig a hole through the Earth to discover if those living on the other side walk upside down. Imagine their shock and delight when they find a sand fairy called a Psammead (pronounced as Sammyadd). The Psammead's nature is to grant wishes, but he warns the children that the wishes granted will come undone at sunset. Naturally, with a bunch of gregarious youngsters, things are bound to go awry when wishes are not planned with precision and careful thinking!
I recommend this delightful fantasy story for curious and imaginative children ages eight and up.
But I read it and thoroughly loved it. So when it came up on Kindle I bought it andread it again.
I would suggest this for children to read at 6 or so and on, and to read it to them even a little earlier.
It is basically a fairy story, as three orphan children find a spirit in the sand who can make a wish come true each day. And every wish goes wrong. Great story.
But that being said, this is a really well-crafted story about getting what you wish for. The kids are funny and realistic, and the Sand-fairy has its own agendas- mostly wanting to be let alone.
As an adult, I found this a very fun read- and I think it would be enjoyable for kids, too- maybe 8 or so, minimum.
This is one cool old time kid's book but lots of fun for kids of all ages - and E Nesbit has a terrific way of writing too!
Although they are "children's literature" the language and the time period make them interesting for any adult who enjoys fantasy or time-period stories.
***NOTE*** This book in particular had strange margin issues. It was almost as if the conversion was meant for a wider device (??) I tried different font sizes, but it didn't ever go to even close to "full justification" of the lines. After a while though, the book was so engrossing that I no longer noticed it!
Top reviews from other countries
I still love the story, and the way that the children’ wishes never turn out quite the way they had imagined. Throughout, though, you need to remind yourself, that the book was written at the beginning of the 20th century – before WWI – and that attitudes, and acceptable behaviour, were quite different then. The boys are very aggressive and martial. It was considered quite OK for them to attack the Baker’s Boy and knock his loaves to the ground – just a bit of banter (!). The servants – and the Psammead - are there to do the children’s bidding, and little thought is given to their needs or feelings. Some cultural appropriation and racism in the episode with the Red Indians. But these anachronistic flaws aside – it is still a wonderful read.
The writing is excellent, and I particularly like the asides to the reader from the author. You can envisage an adult reading the book directly to you.
Don’t ignore the nowadays inappropriate attitudes, but see them in the historical context that they were written, and you have one of the most magical, thought provoking children’s fantasy books around.
What would you wish for?
Linda Bellingham makes an excellent job of narrating E. Nesbit's classic children's story and she needs to; this is a long recording. Holding an adult's attention is difficult enough for approx. 3 hours worth of storytelling, keeping young children hooked is much harder. Linda's warm, funny and entertaining just like "IT" and her voices are distinct enough you don't get mixed up about the different characters. Good quality product, apart from the illustration to the front cover which is dreadful, and I had no audio/playing difficulties. If I'm being honest I do actually prefer to read the books. An audio CD, no matter how good, could never capture that poignant childhood magic.