Monday, January 16, 2012

The Phoenix and the Carpet

Any book that starts off with a scene of four British siblings deciding to test their small supply of Guy Fawkes fireworks so that they are not shamed in front of their neighborhood peers with fizzled fireworks should tell you what kind of story you are about to read.
It will be the kind of story written long before children's play was all about safety and security. Of course, being a mother myself, I can understand that children need to be kept safe but if the resurgence in the popularity of books like The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls says anything, than maybe we have gone too far in protecting children from adventure.
That said, once the magic carpet and the phoenix show up, the story becomes one hair-raising adventure after another and even the children recognize at some point that perhaps a break in their magic-carpeting sprees would be in order.
This book is a sequel to the Five Children and It and as I have not read that yet, I can imagine that that story prepares you for the hazards present in this story.
As is the case of any British story, I find myself longing for tea cakes and seaside holidays, shillings and drawing room fires.
Railway Children is still my favorite Nesbit novel, but I could be convinced to read this again with little difficulty.

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