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The Phoenix and the Carpet (Five Children #2)

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It's startling enough to have a phoenix hatch in your house, but even more startling when it talks and reveals that you have a magic carpet on the floor. The vain and ancient bird accompanies the children on a series of adventures through time and space. This book is a sequel to Five Children and It.


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It's startling enough to have a phoenix hatch in your house, but even more startling when it talks and reveals that you have a magic carpet on the floor. The vain and ancient bird accompanies the children on a series of adventures through time and space. This book is a sequel to Five Children and It.

30 review for The Phoenix and the Carpet (Five Children #2)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    That evening, Mother read to them from a book called The Phoenix and the Carpet, which she had had since she was a little girl. Like all the best children's books, it was written to be read aloud; you immediately knew that Mrs. Nesbit had read it aloud to her own children, and every now and then she had put in a little joke for her husband, who was pretending to do something important but was really listening too. Mrs. Nesbit had a wonderful imagination, and she also had a strong moral sense; so That evening, Mother read to them from a book called The Phoenix and the Carpet, which she had had since she was a little girl. Like all the best children's books, it was written to be read aloud; you immediately knew that Mrs. Nesbit had read it aloud to her own children, and every now and then she had put in a little joke for her husband, who was pretending to do something important but was really listening too. Mrs. Nesbit had a wonderful imagination, and she also had a strong moral sense; so strong, in fact, that she knew, without even stopping to consider the question, that it is most inconsiderate to put improving thoughts into children's books without first making them amusing. Both the children and their parents thought she wrote very well. The children just said that her books weren't boring, like most of the old books that Mother sometimes tried to read to them, while the grown-ups explained it in a more complicated way, using words like Ironic Detachment and Economy of Phrase. It is very rare to find all these excellent qualities combined in one person: almost as rare as to find a Phoenix's egg hidden inside a magic carpet, but not quite.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

    I loved this book and the series as a young girl. This book transported me with its imaginative plot and made me want to be one of the lucky children on a magic carpet! It's one of those timeless children's books that I hope children may still read today. Up there with books like The Famous Five by Enid Blyton and the Trixie Belden series. One of my all time favourite books as an avid younger reader. 5 magical stars for entertainment, great plot, magic and characters.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    "I daresay they're not real cats," said Jane madly, "Perhaps they're only dream-cats." "I'll dream-cat you, my lady," was the brief response of the force." In regards to this book, I'm going to write something so groundbreaking that I would be willing to bet lots and lots of metaphorical pounds on the fact that no one has ever said, written or even thought about this idea when they closed the pages of Ms Nesbit's wonderful book. (view spoiler)[I wish I had a Phoenix and a magic carpet (hide spoile "I daresay they're not real cats," said Jane madly, "Perhaps they're only dream-cats." "I'll dream-cat you, my lady," was the brief response of the force." In regards to this book, I'm going to write something so groundbreaking that I would be willing to bet lots and lots of metaphorical pounds on the fact that no one has ever said, written or even thought about this idea when they closed the pages of Ms Nesbit's wonderful book. (view spoiler)[I wish I had a Phoenix and a magic carpet (hide spoiler)] I'm going to change the world with this 'ere noggin.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anna Kļaviņa

    Sadly, classism, sexism and racism did dampen my enjoyment of this otherwise fantastic children's book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Delightful Edwardian flying carpet larks. Second book in the 'Five Children and It' trilogy. The endearing 'n' pompous Phoenix is one of my favourite characters in literature. *wipes tear*

  6. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    Delightful shenanigans with four children who are left home alone suspiciously often. I had considered only giving it four stars, due to frequent references to savages and naive notions about burglars. Not to mention comments that it's unmanly for boys to cry. But I just can't help myself. It's just too wonderful for four stars. Many thanks go to the Librivox narrator, Helen Taylor, for her beautiful reading.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Fisher

    I love the Phoenix, he is as vain as Hercule Poirot, but his self-esteem fades as the stories progress. I love his pedantic, precise voice, and the way he washes up the teacups. I agree with another reviewer that the cat episode is almost too painful to be entertaining. Another thing that strikes me when reading as an adult - how affectionate the family is. They are always hugging each other (though the boys think this is a bit soppy), they have warm and loving parents and an adorable baby broth I love the Phoenix, he is as vain as Hercule Poirot, but his self-esteem fades as the stories progress. I love his pedantic, precise voice, and the way he washes up the teacups. I agree with another reviewer that the cat episode is almost too painful to be entertaining. Another thing that strikes me when reading as an adult - how affectionate the family is. They are always hugging each other (though the boys think this is a bit soppy), they have warm and loving parents and an adorable baby brother. As a child reader, I think I just wanted to get on with the adventures. (And we think the Victorians were cold and distant with their children. Perhaps that was us!) The family are middle-class but not well off; their house is shabby, and they live in Camden Town, rather too near Kentish Town. And yes, we weren't so politically correct in 1904. There are working class characters: the policeman is rather frightening, the burglar is appealing (while claiming it's his first job, honest), but the servants are not sympathetically portrayed. The cook does mellow under the tropical sun, however. I'm trying to protect Nesbit (who was quite a leftie and a "new woman"), but I'm afraid she fell into the "servant joke" common in her day. For more background, read Alison Light's Mrs Woolf and the Servants and Virginia Nicholson's Among the Bohemians. At least the children knew how to lay a fire and wash up.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    I heard (in a book about little-known classics) that this was a great Christmastime read-aloud. It did take place around Christmastime, but it's not about Christmas at all. Our family loved the first book of this trilogy (Five Children and It), and the Phoenix and the Carpet was almost as good. Nine-year-old Josh loved this book and can't wait to read the third book together. I enjoy E. Nesbit's writing; she is so clever and entertaining and we laughed through this book. Here's a part we enjoyed I heard (in a book about little-known classics) that this was a great Christmastime read-aloud. It did take place around Christmastime, but it's not about Christmas at all. Our family loved the first book of this trilogy (Five Children and It), and the Phoenix and the Carpet was almost as good. Nine-year-old Josh loved this book and can't wait to read the third book together. I enjoy E. Nesbit's writing; she is so clever and entertaining and we laughed through this book. Here's a part we enjoyed (describing when Robert was hiding the bird in his coat): "Robert pretended that he was too cold to take off his greatcoat, and so sat sweltering through what would otherwise have been a thrilling meal. He felt that he was a blot on the smart beauty of the family, and he hoped the Phoenix knew what he was suffering for its sake. Of course, we are all pleased to suffer for the sake of others, but we like them to know it -- unless we were the very best and noblest kind of people, and Robert was just ordinary." (p. 209)

  9. 5 out of 5

    C Hellisen

    While I really enjoyed the writing style of the book, especially the arch little comments on human behaviour, it was hard for me to get past the casual "oh those poor childish savages" racism inherent in books from this era. I think when the Spawn read this, we'll have a little talk about the racism in books by writers like Nesbit, Blyton and Kipling, and what it says about humanity (and hopefully how we've moved on, at least a little.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tahera

    Did not like this book as much as 'Five Children and It'... I felt the children had better adventures in the first book with the Psammead than they did with the Phoenix or the carpet....maybe they made better wishes in the first book than the second.

  11. 4 out of 5

    blake

    I'm glad I went back after reading The Story of the Amulet to the other two books in the series, even though I think "Amulet" is the best of the three. I think they get better as they go on, with the first feeling more like a series of mini-adventures and the third having more of a connected plot. This one is in the middle: The children have both a phoenix (The Phoenix, more correctly) and a wishing carpet that will take them anywhere (or, as they later learn, bring them things from far away). An I'm glad I went back after reading The Story of the Amulet to the other two books in the series, even though I think "Amulet" is the best of the three. I think they get better as they go on, with the first feeling more like a series of mini-adventures and the third having more of a connected plot. This one is in the middle: The children have both a phoenix (The Phoenix, more correctly) and a wishing carpet that will take them anywhere (or, as they later learn, bring them things from far away). And so they do go on a series of adventures which, much like the last book, bring a host of remarkably mundane problems. (English children wishing for riches in the first decade of the 20th century would do well to consider the suspicions of society at large about the source of those riches. I can only imagine it would be even worse today with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.) What sets this above Edith Nesbit - Five Children and It: Psammead #1 in my heart is the Phoenix. Unlike the Psammead, the Phoenix is a friendly character (albeit with a low tolerance for activity) who often genuinely helps the children out. His knack for setting things on fire gives the children a bit of a problem when they realize they can't keep him around, but don't want to hurt his feelings. It was also nice to see Robert, the more hoplitic of the boys, be the one who bonds the most closely with The Phoenix. A great series. Looking forward to reading it to the family.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tocotin

    Oh my! What's going on? It was one of my childhood favorites! OMG. These children are just beyond obnoxious. Their family is described as of moderate means, but they act like completely spoiled brats. "'Is that being kind to servants and animals, like the clergyman said?' asked Jane." They don't care for anyone else except themselves and their family. All the others are tools, or plainly invisible to them anyway. There is one nasty scene when they get home by mistake, when only the servants are su Oh my! What's going on? It was one of my childhood favorites! OMG. These children are just beyond obnoxious. Their family is described as of moderate means, but they act like completely spoiled brats. "'Is that being kind to servants and animals, like the clergyman said?' asked Jane." They don't care for anyone else except themselves and their family. All the others are tools, or plainly invisible to them anyway. There is one nasty scene when they get home by mistake, when only the servants are supposed to be there, and discover the servants are actually away, enjoying their free time. The brats CHILDREN are completely appalled that the servants haven't been chained next to the family's precious pots and pans. With the help of the magical Phoenix or maybe the carpet, I don't remember, they succeed in blackmailing placating the servants: "'There's nothing like firmness,' Cyril went on, when the breakfast things were cleared away and the children were alone in the nursery. 'People are always talking of difficulties with servants. It's quite simple, when you know the way. We can do when we like now and they won't peach. I think we've broken THEIR proud spirit. Let's go somewhere by carpet.'" Ahaha. Well I never. You are nothing without your magical gizmos, CHILDREN. Your story ends when they leave you. Buh-bye.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Don't read this expecting fantasy. It is more like farce or a comic, but Nesbit never fails to invent human characters and that is primarily what I really get out of her books. Even when including such an exotic animal as the Phoenix, she imbues him with a humorous sense of dignity and ceremony that causes no end of trouble for the children. Every once in a while Nesbit writes a gem. One of my favorite insightful and thought-provoking ones was: "He felt that he was a blot on the smart beauty of t Don't read this expecting fantasy. It is more like farce or a comic, but Nesbit never fails to invent human characters and that is primarily what I really get out of her books. Even when including such an exotic animal as the Phoenix, she imbues him with a humorous sense of dignity and ceremony that causes no end of trouble for the children. Every once in a while Nesbit writes a gem. One of my favorite insightful and thought-provoking ones was: "He felt that he was a blot on the smart beauty of the family, and he hoped the Phoenix knew what he was suffering for its sake. Of course, we are all pleased to suffer for the sake of others, but we like them to know it unless we are the very best and noblest kind of people, and Robert was just ordinary." The stories are fairly self-contained, but also very funny. The ending to the Two Bazaars was nothing short of brilliant and The Temple is buckets of laughter. The Mews From Persia is a bit too painful and realistic to be funny at times. A lot of this book is quite memorable and the clergymen come off quite nice. Oh, and 'Whirling Worlds' is the game where you swing the baby round and round by his hands. Good thing to know.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa McShane

    I don't like this one as much as Five Children and It, probably because where the Psammead is only grouchy and annoying, the Phoenix is self-centered to the point of getting the kids into trouble. The theme is the same as the first book: the children get three wishes a day from the magic carpet, and as usual their wishes go awry. My favorite of their adventures is where they're flying along, see a tower whose top is the same size as the carpet, and set down only to find that there's no actual ro I don't like this one as much as Five Children and It, probably because where the Psammead is only grouchy and annoying, the Phoenix is self-centered to the point of getting the kids into trouble. The theme is the same as the first book: the children get three wishes a day from the magic carpet, and as usual their wishes go awry. My favorite of their adventures is where they're flying along, see a tower whose top is the same size as the carpet, and set down only to find that there's no actual roof and they're descending into what might as well be an elevator shaft. Unlike their other stupid choices, that seems like a natural and embarrassing mistake to make.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wreade1872

    So this is a direct sequel to 'Five Children and It', so if you havn't read that, this might seem a bit odd in places. I think i rated both books the same, this is superior in places but has a harder time trying to find reasons for things to happen and struggles to avoid repeating itself. There's some jokes which might appeal to adults rather than kids in places so not a terrible thing if your reading it to someone. Overall not a huge fan but entertaining enough. I listened to some of it on a ver So this is a direct sequel to 'Five Children and It', so if you havn't read that, this might seem a bit odd in places. I think i rated both books the same, this is superior in places but has a harder time trying to find reasons for things to happen and struggles to avoid repeating itself. There's some jokes which might appeal to adults rather than kids in places so not a terrible thing if your reading it to someone. Overall not a huge fan but entertaining enough. I listened to some of it on a very good Libravox recording by a Helen Taylor.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Her dry wit and observational humour makes these books very readable as an adult - much more like Richmal Crompton than Enid Blyton. Despite being written over a century ago this series is still so fresh and funny. Her warts-and-all portrayal of children is a lot more genuine than some other classics of the era.

  17. 4 out of 5

    CLM

    Perhaps my favorite of this trilogy - I like the magic carpet, which becomes worn at the edges as it transports the children, and the melancholy Phoenix. But I never understood how Anthea could rhyme with Panther!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennieowen

    Listened on audible with the kids. Good fun for us all!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lynda Breithaupt-Muenzer

    Nesbit, Edith. The Phoenix and the Carpet. (1904) Target Audience: 5-12. This children's fantasy novel surprised me with its imaginative, magical adventures. That is because of my own ignorance of Edith Nesbit's contributions to children's literature. I really enjoyed her narrative style and found myself laughing out loud at her wit and British phraseology. It's also noticed and recognized that this book comes from an era of stereotypes, racism and assumptions that might not be as well received Nesbit, Edith. The Phoenix and the Carpet. (1904) Target Audience: 5-12. This children's fantasy novel surprised me with its imaginative, magical adventures. That is because of my own ignorance of Edith Nesbit's contributions to children's literature. I really enjoyed her narrative style and found myself laughing out loud at her wit and British phraseology. It's also noticed and recognized that this book comes from an era of stereotypes, racism and assumptions that might not be as well received today. The references to savages on an island, the hired help being "less than" other people, and boys shouldn't show their emotions were the main criticisms. I write that and think of my own stereotyping of the British being stiff, cold, reserved, bland, and unadventurous. That thinking is now out the window! The story begins with four of the five children of a British family arguing over fireworks because they are envious of the fireworks their neighbors have bought. They foolishly convince themselves that it might be a good idea to sample a few fireworks...inside the house! Thank goodness the baby of the family was not with them. The sampling begins and becomes dangerous when a column of fire bursts, leaving a couple of the children browless. They all gathered the corners of the carpet and threw it on top of the fire which quickly cut the column down, leaving a room filled with smoke. Their mother didn't need Sherlock Holme's help to figure out this one. The carpet is ruined and mother shops the next day for a replacement. Little does she know the adventures, or shall I say, misadventures this carpet will bring. The children discover an egg in the new carpet as it is rolled out in the nursery. Sincerely by accident they hatch the egg and a bright golden Phoenix is revealed. The Phoenix wastes no time in letting them know how magnificent he is and that the carpet they are standing on is quite special as it is a magic carpet. The children seem fascinated by what he has to say, but unamazed that this bird is actually talking. Anthea, the oldest daughter, states, "I think we are the sort of people things DO happen to." Ah, the foresight. Admittedly, it takes awhile to figure out the birth order of the children as well as their names, and AKA animal names. Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane and Lamb; I never figured out the baby's given name. These children seem like every day children in many ways, but they also are very aware of the world, far away places, and have vivid imaginations. Each of them has their own personality that is presented consistently throughout the book; Robert is a leader, Anthea is conscientious and wants to do the right thing, Jane is skeptical and a bit negative, and Cyril is stalwart. The Phoenix is unquestionably intelligent with quite a sense of humor. While he is able to get the children out of outlandish circumstances, he is also responsible for getting them into these cockeyed situations! Their first excursion with the Phoenix and the carpet was abroad, to France. While floating over rivers, hills, farms, and trees they all agreed they were hungry. They wanted to stop somewhere where no one would bother them, they could have a picnic and a couple of them could leave the carpet to go get some food. The carpet drifted right above a tower, it seemed perfect with a great view. The carpet lowered itself on top, but there was not a to, a roof, so the carpet began sinking lower and lower, Robert had reached out to an owl's nest and fell off the carpet, but was clutching the grooves in the wall. The rest of them plummeted to the bottom of the tower, but landed without being hurt. Jane immediately wished they had not gone out on the carpet and then Cyril wished that the carpet would go back and fetch Robert, which it immediately, but carefully, did. A bit unnerved; however, grateful, Robert suggested they wish to return to home, so in unison, they did. The carpet didn't move at all. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. The Phoenix then reminded them of what he had told them about the magic carpet, but he actually had not told them this important side note, that you only got three wishes a day. The carpet was done for the day. This was the first of many unique predicaments they would find themselves in. The next trip they accidentally made a wish while the cook at home was in the room, so she was swept away by the carpet with them! They ended up on a beautiful island, inhabited by savages, who decided they wanted the cook to become their long awaited Queen. She obliged and made a new life there. Another trip took them to India where they went to a bazaar in hopes of buying gifts for their mother, but in the process, their carpet was left unattended and a bossy woman took it home. Putting more thought into how they made wishes, Anthea wished that this wicked woman would be in an angelic good temper. It worked and they were able to get their carpet back. They decide to start wishing for things that will help other people, such as riches. They do stumble upon some bags of gold that have been hidden from a French lady who is about to lose her home, but they are able to lead her to the gold and she is able to recover her castle. In a situation where they wish for food for 199 cats, the wish is answered with 398 rats being put in the room with the 199 cats. This leads to wishing the rats were gone, but they still need food for the cats so they wish for milk and get a cow. A burglar is forced to milk the cow, but later gets arrested for stealing the cats. There are times the children run out of wishes so the Phoenix steps in, rather, flies away to a Psammead who honors the wish of the Phoenix. Up until the children take the Phoenix to the formal theater with them to see the play, The Water Babies, he believes that a building in town called The Phoenix Fire Insurance Office is a temple built to honor him. The splendid decor of the grandiose theater however, makes him believe that is his temple instead. During the play he decides to fly about spreading little sparks of tinsel seeds that became little flames to create an altar in his own honor. The little flames grew to be big flames and everyone in the whole theater is evacuated. A wish quickly made and the children escape to the safety of their home. Their parents however only know that their children were at the theater and are overwhelmed with worry. When they arrive home the children realize it is time for the Phoenix and the carpet to move on. Their mother had literally been worried sick and stays in bed for two days. During this time the baby brother and the carpet disappear for awhile, long enough for all the children, even Robert, who had bonded with the Phoenix the most, know that the Phoenix must go. Lamb is found and the children are relieved when the Phoenix announces it is time for him to go away and back to sleep for a very long time. He is, as the British say, zonked, exhausted. I realize this book was first published in 1904; therefore, the illustrations could only be in black and white, but it is fitting with the time and they still provide clarity of what people and things looked like. This was a good read, I feel that as a child I missed out on living vicariously through the characters in the book. I just may have to read another of Ms. Nesbit's literary works.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Felix Zilich

    Во второй книге вместо песчаной феи герои встречают еще одно уникальное древнее существо — птицу-феникс.В благодарность за собственное возрождение (а также банально от скуки) феникс регулярно помогает детворе и даже путешествует с ними на настоящем ковре-самолёте. А теперь подробнее. Есть бессмертное, древнее существо. Возможно, последний представитель своего вида. Существо, по сути не способное умереть. В случае приближения конца своей физической оболочки, оно откладывает яйцо, из которого занов Во второй книге вместо песчаной феи герои встречают еще одно уникальное древнее существо — птицу-феникс.В благодарность за собственное возрождение (а также банально от скуки) феникс регулярно помогает детворе и даже путешествует с ними на настоящем ковре-самолёте. А теперь подробнее. Есть бессмертное, древнее существо. Возможно, последний представитель своего вида. Существо, по сути не способное умереть. В случае приближения конца своей физической оболочки, оно откладывает яйцо, из которого заново рождается. С новым телом, но с прежней личностью. Добавим к этому, что существо путешествует по пространству и времени при помощи живого гаджета (ковра-самолета). Безмолвного, но разумного и даже зачастую своенравного. Бессмертное существо и его гаджет помогают героям спасать других людей. Где бы они не были. Вам не кажется, что я рассказывал последний абзац про Доктора Кто и его Тардис. Еще в начале статьи я предупредил, что у книг Несбит множество идейных наследников, и большинство из них — очень известные. Первую повесть. например, экранизировали три раза (есть даже аниме 1985 года) . А вот в самой свежей экранизации сыграли Кеннет Брана и 12-летний Фредди Хаймор. По сюжету ребят отправили в деревню по причине того, что Лондон бомбят фашисты. Совсем как в «Нарнии», придуманной Льюисом (и это не секрет) наоборот под влиянием книг Несбит. (c) https://redrumers.com/2018/05/23/nesb...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    The common advice to would-be fiction authors is to “write about what you know”. A phoenix and a flying carpet aren’t of course really within one’s everyday experience, but at heart the events that take place and many of this fantasy’s settings are taken from real life, a fair few of which hark back to Nesbit’s own childhood in the Victorian period. The reminiscences in Long Ago When I Was Young, though only first published as a collection in 1966, were serialised before Nesbit embarked on her ca The common advice to would-be fiction authors is to “write about what you know”. A phoenix and a flying carpet aren’t of course really within one’s everyday experience, but at heart the events that take place and many of this fantasy’s settings are taken from real life, a fair few of which hark back to Nesbit’s own childhood in the Victorian period. The reminiscences in Long Ago When I Was Young, though only first published as a collection in 1966, were serialised before Nesbit embarked on her career as a children’s writer and partly the spur for her successful forays into publishing. A significant number of the incidents in The Phoenix and the Carpet can be directly traced to the memories she presents in Long Ago. A mysterious keep-like stone structure that appears in ‘The Topless Tower’ and ‘Doing Good’ is based on the same building that the young Edith encountered in France, as recounted in the chapter entitled ‘In Auvergne’. ‘Doing Good’ also highlights themes that she had previously visited within ‘In the Dark’ and ‘Mummies at Bordeaux’. And ‘Two Bazaars’ may well be partly based on the bazaar that Edith experiences in ‘Lessons in French’. We will have already met the children of this novel in Five Children and It, where they spend their summer holidays in the country ‘at a white house between a sand pit and a gravel pit’. Then they encountered a sand-fairy, the Psammead; now, in early November, they discover an egg rolled up in a carpet, replacement for a previous one in their Camden Town home ruined by a firework on Bonfire Night. The five children are now mostly four – Cyril (called Squirrel), Robert (rather more prosaically called Bobs), Anthea (Panther) and Jane (Puss). Hilary is the remaining child (the toddler maintains the animal theme by being referred to as The Lamb), though he only appears occasionally and then to unwittingly cause mayhem. (The animal theme continues when the Phoenix hatches, and again later when more creatures make their appearances – Persian cats and, bizarrely, a cow.) The two boys are typically well-mannered and well-meaning but liable to make unwise decisions. Anthea may most resemble the author – tomboyish but creative – while Jane, the youngest of the four, is more ‘girly’ and, well, wimpish, prone to burst into tears at the merest hint of danger. (Mind you, danger, real or potential, does always seem to be round the corner.) But, as Nesbit says, even though ‘boys never cry, of course,’ Cyril and Robert are also susceptible to emotion, making faces ‘in their efforts to behave in a really manly way’. The Phoenix itself is a marvellous creation. Vain and garrulous, he tells the children about the magic Persian carpet which grants three wishes a day. They use it to transport themselves to various more or less exotic places, from France to the Middle East, from the City of London to a desert island. In keeping with their original serial publication, the chapters at first appear episodic and unrelated to each other, merely recounting separate adventures where the siblings get themselves into scrapes. But as the story progresses Nesbit starts to weave in themes from earlier chapters – the cook, the ‘topless tower’, the absent-minded curate – and naturally the overall motif of fire runs brightly through the narrative pattern, with dire consequences for the flammable flying carpet. From that first Guy Fawkes Night through the rebirth of the Phoenix from the flames, the setting alight of an increasingly frayed carpet and a visit to the Phoenix Fire Office in Lombard Street we arrive at the potentially catastrophic conflagration at the Garrick Theatre. Ironically, the last takes place at a dramatisation of Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies (a genuine production from 1902), and water becomes another underlying theme, as with the visit to the tropical island to alleviate the Lamb’s whooping cough or the booby-trap with a pail of water balanced on a door. The Phoenix and the Carpet is more than just a re-run of Five Children and It with the bird and the rug substituting for the Psammead and a succession of escapades. The children become even more individual in character, especially Robert with his unexpected affection for the Phoenix; and the Phoenix itself is a distinct personage, different from the grumpy Psammead with its unintentionally entertaining if increasingly tedious chatter, inflated sense of self-importance and embarrassing avuncularism. Adults too have their part to play, but mostly they are bemused by the magic played out before their eyes, ascribing the sights they experience and the things they hear to a curious daydream. Which is, as is the way of metafiction, exactly what it is. Above all, what I most liked is Nesbit’s humour, evident from her asides, her descriptions of the children’s thought-processes and her delight in their convoluted attempts to Do The Right Thing. Modern sensibilities may be upset by some aspects – such as her portrayal of native peoples or Jews – though, this being Nesbit, her teasing tongue-in-cheek tone and her Fabian socialist sympathies suggest she mightn’t necessarily share those common prejudices. http://wp.me/s2oNj1-phoenix

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kaysie Campbell

    Love me some Edith Nesbit! Her stories are beloved read-only alouds in our family. Like all of her stories, the Phoenix and the Carpet was wholesome, witty, and the language was rich.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jingle ❀彡

    ╔❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿╗ Rating: 2.5 Stars ' "I must get rid of that carpet at once," said mother. But what the children said in sad whispers to each other, as they pondered over last night's events, was - "We must get rid of that Phoenix." ' When I first read Five Children and It, I had been entranced by how the children played together, took care of each other and got into all their scrapes. However, when I got down to reading the sequel it felt like something had changed. Back in their home, do ╔❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿╗ Rating: 2.5 Stars ' "I must get rid of that carpet at once," said mother. But what the children said in sad whispers to each other, as they pondered over last night's events, was - "We must get rid of that Phoenix." ' When I first read Five Children and It, I had been entranced by how the children played together, took care of each other and got into all their scrapes. However, when I got down to reading the sequel it felt like something had changed. Back in their home, does it make sense when I say they seemed more annoying? There's the first problem of course, where due to the time period the sexism and racism is very much present. Anthea can sew and do chores and make fires for the sibling while hurting herself, but when she's in a bad mood and doesn't agree with Cyril? ' "Ah", he said, "that's all women are fit for - to keep safe and warm, while the men do the work and run dangers and risks and things." Oh shut up, Cyril. In addition to this, the children seem more reliant on the magical elements in the story now. Phoenix usually has to save the day, if not carpet. And if all goes wrong there's also Psammead. I get they are children, but with three wishes and a Phoenix in the sequel versus just a sand fairy and wish a day, I don't understand why they need to rely on them so much. And the ending (view spoiler)[with both the Phoenix and carpet having to go, (hide spoiler)] I just wasn't a very happy human. On the good side though, this story hasn't changed in the way it's told. It's still carefree and fast paced, and I'm sure I would have liked it if I was a child. I'd just recommend people who read the Five Children and It and leave be, because honestly I feel like you'd better preserve the magic then. ╚❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿❀✿╝

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Egbert

    I read them out of order but it matters not, Nesbit charms at every level. If you have young children or if you are a soul who loves fairy tales, please read the adventures of these delightful children. The quotes that caught my fancy: "Father and mother had not the least idea of what had happened in their absence. This is often the case, even when there are no magic carpets or Phoenixes in the house." "We mustn't expect old heads on young shoulders." "Mother was really a great dear. She was pretty I read them out of order but it matters not, Nesbit charms at every level. If you have young children or if you are a soul who loves fairy tales, please read the adventures of these delightful children. The quotes that caught my fancy: "Father and mother had not the least idea of what had happened in their absence. This is often the case, even when there are no magic carpets or Phoenixes in the house." "We mustn't expect old heads on young shoulders." "Mother was really a great dear. She was pretty and she was loving, and most frightfully good when you were ill, and always kind, and always just. That is, she was just when she understood things. But of course she did not always understand things. No one understands everything, and mothers are not angels, though a good many of them come pretty near it. The children knew that mother always wanted to do what was best for them, even if she was not clever enough to know exactly what was best." "Mother laid down her pen, and her nice face had a resigned expression. As you know, a resigned expression always makes you want not to tell anybody anything." "I am not going to describe the ranee's palace, because I really have never seen the palace of a ranee, and Mr. Kipling has. So you can read about it in his books." "And when the children went to bed that night the Phoenix was still trying to cut down the last line of its ode to the proper length without taking out any of what it wanted to say. That is what makes poetry so difficult." "Well, look here, you know there's something about Christmas that makes you want to be good - however little you wish it at other times." "That is the one of the most annoying things about stories, you cannot tell all the different parts of them at the same time." "Of course, we are all pleased to suffer for the sake of others, but we like them to know it - unless we are the very best and noblest kind of people, and Robert was just ordinary."

  25. 5 out of 5

    East Bay J

    What a delightful surprise. I picked this up on a whim and it turned out to be a well written and endearing children's story about four siblings who discover a phoenix and a magic carpet, sending them off on the most extraordinary adventures. However, I must point out a few things that you may wish to consider before reading this to your little ones. First off, Edith Nesbit was a bigot. It's nothing too blatant but it's there, whether she's referring to Africans as "savages" or having the phoenix What a delightful surprise. I picked this up on a whim and it turned out to be a well written and endearing children's story about four siblings who discover a phoenix and a magic carpet, sending them off on the most extraordinary adventures. However, I must point out a few things that you may wish to consider before reading this to your little ones. First off, Edith Nesbit was a bigot. It's nothing too blatant but it's there, whether she's referring to Africans as "savages" or having the phoenix tell the children, "...like the Scots, you know - all related." There is also a very detailed description of how to build a fire in a fireplace, which any self respecting child could apply to building a fire just about anywhere. I guess it would come in handy if a child were stranded in the wilderness. I also believe a child might get the wrong impression when the brothers dump cats on strangers' doorsteps considering it was the childrens' fault they had all the cats in the first place. But, if you can somehow edit Nesbit's folly, this would make a smashing book to read to your kids at bedtime. My favorite part is when the phoenix is writing an ode to himself: 'For beauty and for modest worth The phoenix has not its equal on earth' "And when the children went to bed that night it (the phoenix) was still trying to cut down the last line to the proper length without taking out any of what it wanted to say. That is what makes poetry so difficult." That is what makes song lyrics so difficult, too! Edith also had a love triangle going with her husband and another woman and raised the other woman's kids. Scandal! Fortunately, you won't find any of this in the pages of The Phoenix And The Carpet.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matilda Rose

    In the second in the trilogy, Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother buy an enchanted wishing carpet! Cyril (also known as Squirrel), Anthea (known as Panther), Robert (Bobs), Jane (Pussy), and their brother (the Lamb) accidentally hatch a Phoenix egg in the fire which Bobs found in the carpet! The five children are overjoyed, but, as it is with magic, rarely everything goes as planned.. When the children wish for milk for the 199 Persian cats they had due to the wishing carpet, the In the second in the trilogy, Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother buy an enchanted wishing carpet! Cyril (also known as Squirrel), Anthea (known as Panther), Robert (Bobs), Jane (Pussy), and their brother (the Lamb) accidentally hatch a Phoenix egg in the fire which Bobs found in the carpet! The five children are overjoyed, but, as it is with magic, rarely everything goes as planned.. When the children wish for milk for the 199 Persian cats they had due to the wishing carpet, the carpet brings back a cow(!), and Pussy convinces a burglar to milk it for them. When the Lamb wishes himself away to an unknown place on the wishing carpet, his four elder siblings are relieved to find he'd wished himself to their mother, and when the children's cook gets on their nerves, they wish her away to a desert island where their cook is crowned queen, and the Lamb is cured of his cough! Although nothing ever goes to plan, the clever children always manage to sort it out, though they would never have made it out of a few scrapes if it had not have been for the Phoenix. Vain and conceited, the Phoenix thinks itself higher and grander than anyone, but is honest and kind, and is a good friend to all children, especially Robert, who hatched his egg. I thought this book was well written, and I loved the adventures that the children went on. Edith has a lovely way of writing that's really expressive and humourous. I cannot wait to read the third in the trilogy, The Amulet.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Keertana Pillai

    The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit, is the first of its kind, in the Fantasy genre, arriving years before the Lord of the Rings series or the Narnia series or the all-time favourite, the Harry Potter series. E. Nesbit wonderfully relates the fascinating and spellbinding adventures of the children Cyril, Andrea, Jane, Robert and the Lamb in this book and its prequel and sequel. The children are trying out fireworks obtained at a cheap price so as not to be "embarrassed" in front of the neighb The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit, is the first of its kind, in the Fantasy genre, arriving years before the Lord of the Rings series or the Narnia series or the all-time favourite, the Harry Potter series. E. Nesbit wonderfully relates the fascinating and spellbinding adventures of the children Cyril, Andrea, Jane, Robert and the Lamb in this book and its prequel and sequel. The children are trying out fireworks obtained at a cheap price so as not to be "embarrassed" in front of the neighbouring kids if they do not work, when their indoor firework-testing leads to disastrous consequences which include the carpet being burnt. They purchase a new carpet from a vendor whose ways are suspicious, and on returning home discover a round object. Smooth and shiny like an egg. A few more attempts at adventure and magic precede an accident that lands the egg in a sweet-scented fire. Lo, and behold, a majestic talking phoenix appears who tells them that by the way, their carpet is magical. And that is all it takes for the children to be lost in a series of mad adventures with a faithful carpet and a vain bird. This book subtly hints at very important things most fantasy books do not even finger. Good things don't last forever, there is a price to be paid for everything, and that you don't have to be brave, noble, daring, kind, well--mannered, hard- working, or in short, a goody-two shoes for adventure to find you. Go looking for it. Trust me, there's an adventure. Way to go Nesbit!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hollowspine

    After reading Five Children and It, I was compelled to find out if more stories about the five children existed and soon enough here I am reading the Phoenix and the Carpet, which stars the same five children, though this one concentrates mainly on the older four, who discover, in the folds of their new nursery carpet a beautiful egg, which ends up in the coals of the fireplace during some small scuffle. Thus is reborn the Phoenix, who informs the children about the magic qualities of their carp After reading Five Children and It, I was compelled to find out if more stories about the five children existed and soon enough here I am reading the Phoenix and the Carpet, which stars the same five children, though this one concentrates mainly on the older four, who discover, in the folds of their new nursery carpet a beautiful egg, which ends up in the coals of the fireplace during some small scuffle. Thus is reborn the Phoenix, who informs the children about the magic qualities of their carpet and becomes a travelling companion to them. Although the psammead is mentioned a few times the sand fairy is not the focus of this work and there are no wings or unnatural beauty attributed to the children this time, but that doesn't stop them from getting into the most hilarious situations. My favorite chapters began when the carpet brought the children 'delightful things' from it's Persian homeland and ended up with a rather bizarre marriage ceremony. This will certainly not be the last I'll read of E. Nesbit, but sadly it seems there is only one more adventure for Anthea, Cyril, Robert and Jane. I want to save it and read it at the same time! I'm surprised that I'd never heard of the story throughout school since they are such hilarious stories and really great when read aloud, if you can find someone who does good accents. I really recommend this for anyone, especially to read in funny voices to children (I would have loved that). And no one would say, "This has such good lessons for mannerly children." Or, "How true to life." Or any of that rot.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    The lesser-known sequel to Five Children and It turns out to be just as cheeky as the original (if not moreso), though the plot is essentially the same: four children (the baby comes into this story even less than he does in the first book) are given wishes, which don't quite turn out as expected. Instead of a Psammead, this book features a flying Wishing Carpet and a golden Phoenix who acts as a sort of middleman or go-between for the children and the carpet. The Phoenix is just as singular a The lesser-known sequel to Five Children and It turns out to be just as cheeky as the original (if not moreso), though the plot is essentially the same: four children (the baby comes into this story even less than he does in the first book) are given wishes, which don't quite turn out as expected. Instead of a Psammead, this book features a flying Wishing Carpet and a golden Phoenix who acts as a sort of middleman or go-between for the children and the carpet. The Phoenix is just as singular a character as the first book's grumpy sand-fairy. Vain and loquacious, the Phoenix acts as a sort of guide for the children's adventures, and at times makes his own demands upon the children or upbraids them for their behavior. The lofty tone of the Phoenix's lectures are hilariously juxtaposted against his own narcissism, which makes The Phoenix and the Carpet just as enjoyable for adults as for its intended audience of children. All the lessons are delivered with a wink, and you get the sense that Nesbit enjoyed walking that thin line between high moral teaching and subversive troublemaking. This book is 100 years old next year. Given its age, expect to encounter a few archaisms as well as references to 1904 English culture that are going to be lost on modern readers. But these aren't roadblocks to enjoying the book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Oh how I would love to enjoy this book as much as I did as a child! This is a really fun little book about a group of children who come across a phoenix egg and a magic carpet. They go on all sorts of grand adventures and get into no end of trouble. There are moral lessons and plenty of funny moments and the writing is made specifically to be read aloud, but... I'm not comfortable reading this book to my children without prefacing it with "this book is old and says a lot which isn't nice nor accur Oh how I would love to enjoy this book as much as I did as a child! This is a really fun little book about a group of children who come across a phoenix egg and a magic carpet. They go on all sorts of grand adventures and get into no end of trouble. There are moral lessons and plenty of funny moments and the writing is made specifically to be read aloud, but... I'm not comfortable reading this book to my children without prefacing it with "this book is old and says a lot which isn't nice nor accurate." Fortunately, even if I don't, my daughter is likely to point out many of them to me. This book was written in 1904 and shows vast amounts of sexism, classism, and racism. There are a lot of little phrases which said today would be offensive. The representation of the non-white characters are generally pretty negative, especially with the natives who somehow become ruled by the white cook who doesn't speak their language and believes it's all a dream. The servants are all crooks and liars. The factory worker children are all filled with hate and part of gangs. The children themselves are greedy and lazy and selfish and never really learn their lesson. I enjoyed rereading it and will probably read it to my daughter at some point, but I will preface it and will use the questionable sections as ways to talk about the problems they show.

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