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  • Virago

The Phoenix and the Carpet

E. Nesbit, H. R. Millar

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The Psammead Series, Fiction, Classic fiction (Children's / Teenage)

'I love her books - particularly the FIVE CHILDREN AND IT sequence' - Neil Gaiman

THIS IS THE SECOND BOOK IN THE PSAMMEAD TRILOGY, FOLLOWING FIVE CHILDREN AND IT


'For the egg was now red-hot, and inside it something was moving. Next moment there was a soft cracking sound; the egg burst in two, and out of it came a flame-coloured bird...'

When a stone egg rolls out of the old rug that has been bought for the nursery, the children think nothing of it. A lovely glowing yellow, they place it on the mantelpiece to brighten up the room. But when the egg accidentally drops into the fire, a strange thing happens: out hatches a phoenix, resplendent in golden feathers - and very vain. If that weren't enough of a surprise, it tells them that their carpet is magic: it will take them to any place that they wish to visit - over their dusty London streets to the French coast, to tropical islands and an Indian bazaar. Guiding them throughout their adventures - though he's often more a hindrance than a help - is their new friend, the phoenix.

'The cheerful, child-centred anarchy of FIVE CHILDREN AND IT is still my inspiration and delight' Kate Saunders, Guardian

'My all-time favourite classic children's author' Jacqueline Wilson

'If Britain is to children's fantasy as Brazil is to football, then Edith Nesbit is our Pele - endlessly surprising and inventive. But she is more than that. There were fantasy writers before Edith Nesbit but she is the one that brought the magical and the mundane together in a moment of nuclear fusion. She opened the door in the magic wardrobe, pointed the way to platform nine and three quarters. She even had a hand in building the Tardis. And these are among her minor achievements. She is also simply the funniest writer we have ever had, while being the one who could most easily and sweetly break your heart with a phrase. Just try saying "Daddy oh my Daddy" without catching your breath. She made the magic worlds feel as near as the Lewisham Road and she bathed the Lewisham Road in magic' Frank Cottrell-Boyce


This collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Chi
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