Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Phoenix and the Carpet


The Phoenix and the Carpet. E. Nesbit. 1904. 224 pages.

It began with the day when it was almost the Fifth of November, and a doubt arose in some breast--Robert's, I fancy--as to the quality of the fireworks laid in for the Guy Fawkes celebration.

The Phoenix and the Carpet is the sequel to Five Children and It. It stars Robert, Anthea, Jane, Cyril, and Lamb. (Though Lamb isn't a big star in the novel, he does manage to steal a few scenes in this one!) If you thought the magical adventures for these children were over--now that they've returned to the city and are far from their Psammead--you'd be wrong. (The Psammead is the "It" from the previous book.) For the delightful-sometimes-dangerous adventures are just beginning. After an "accident" in the nursery ruins the carpet, the carpet is replaced with a magical one. And this magical carpet holds another secret--for within it was an egg. Not just an ordinary egg. No, the Phoenix hatches from this egg--once another "accident" lands it in the nursery fireplace. The children now have THE Phoenix and a magic carpet--so you see the adventures are just beginning. Do you think these children are any wiser this time around? Do you think their wishes will lead them into trouble? Or into trouble that they can't think themselves out of?

Some of my favorite passages:

On this particular Sunday there were fowls for dinner, a kind of food that is generally kept for birthdays and grand occasions, and there was an angel pudding, when rice and milk and orange and white icing do their best to make you happy. (52)
and
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 almost 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 the best. (73)
There were many things I loved about this one. I loved the trouble that comes about when the wishing carpet makes its own wish--and brings back one-hundred and ninety-nine Persian cats. Of course, that is only the start of that particular mishap...

I also LOVED Lamb's scenes in this novel. In particular when this little one crawled onto the wishing carpet and started babbling. The carpet, of course, understands all languages--even baby ones--and Lamb and the carpet vanish. This puzzles the children, how will they get their baby brother back?! How can they ever explain to their mom what happened?! I won't tell you how this one resolves, but I just loved it!

I loved this one. I don't know that I love it any more than I do Five Children and It. I just know that I love E. Nesbit. I love her narrative style. I love her descriptions. And I am so very thankful I've discovered her! And I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.

Have you read any Nesbit? Do you have a favorite book? Which do you think I should read next?

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

5 comments:

Hannah Stoneham 11:01 AM  

Sounds like fun... I love 5 children and it so think I would quite like this. thanks for sharing

Hannah

Anonymous,  12:11 PM  

Well, there is always "The Story of the Amulet" - the Psammead is back - or, well, the children are back with the Psammead. Either way. Lovely review, made me smile; it so evokes the happy feeling that is reading E Nesbit.:) L.

Jeane 2:00 PM  

This looks like fun! My mother read us Five Children and It when we were kids, but I didn't know there were any sequels!

Sheila Beaumont 6:19 PM  

Yes, I've read all of her books I've been able to find. In addition to the three featuring the five children, I've especially enjoyed The Railway Children and the Treasure Seekers series. There's also The Enchanted Castle, The Magic City, The Book of Dragons, and more.

Charlotte 7:09 PM  

I love this one! The next obvious one to read is The Story of the Amulet, and then perhaps The Enchanted Castle, and then perhaps The Railway Children....

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP