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Edith Nesbit: The Phoenix and the Carpet

“The Phoenix and the carpet” is about four children, Cyril (the eldest), Anthea, Robert and Jane (the youngest).
You get to follow the four brothers and sisters through their adventures when they by and accident makes The Phoenix hatch by putting it in the warm fire, and when they find out that they’ve got a wishing carpet right at their livingroom-floor.
With help from the Phoenix they begin a journey through time and place – and nothing turns out as they planned..¤ ¤ ¤

The Phoenix is a bird out of the ordinary. There is only one bird of its kind.
The Phoenix is about the size of an eagle, it has beautiful golden feathers and it talks. It’s a good-hearted bird that helps the four children through the hard times. The talking bird thinks that he’s the most intelligent and gorgeous creature of all times, and he’s not shy to give hints about him wanting to hear it from others.

Robert is the one who by accident puts the egg to hatch in the fire. He is a typical Scottish boy. He, Cyril, Anthea and Jane are always very accurate about having there out-door-clothes when they go somewhere on the wishing carpet. They wear strict clothes from about 1800′ds I think.
He and his older brother Cyril has got matches in their pockets and are happy that they’re allowed to have them, since most boys their age aren’t. Robert and his brother and sisters are really nice to each other through the whole book. I can’t imagine that happening among “real” brothers and sisters.

¤ ¤ ¤

Edith Nesbit never tells you which year it is in the book. I suppose it’s somewhere around 1800′ds or the beginning of 1900.
The story begins in November somewhere in the Scotland, but the four children travel all over the world with the wishing carpet.

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I think the author wrote this book so that you can fall into a dream-world with wishing carpets and talking birds. And to teach us to have dreams.
I think she also is trying to teach us to be kind to and respect each other.

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I thought the book was OK. It is rather amusing in it’s parts, but I’d wish for more personal portraits and more descriptions of the nature around them. Maybe you should be a bit younger than me to really appreciate this book.
I like the kind of books which has a bit of magic in them, where anything can happened and to by myself form a picture about how the place looks.

¤ ¤ ¤

Edith Nesbit lived between 1858-1924. When she was a little girl she was a mischievous child who grew up to be an unconventional adult.
Her clothing, haircut, lifestyle and habit of expressing herself forcefully showed that she was a woman who was trying to break out from the ordinary, the mould which English society demanded at the time.
After being a successful writer of short pieces for adult magazines a couple of years, she started to write children-books. She writes with a combination of real-life-situations, humour and magic.
Edith has written lots of children books through the years, such as “The enchanted castle”, “Five children and It” and “The magic world”.

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