Psammy – sand-fairy children classics

“Five Children and It” is a children's novel by English author Edith Nesbit. It was originally published in 1902 in the Strand Magazine under the general title The Psammead, or the Gifts, with a segment appearing each month from April to December. The stories were then expanded into a novel which was published the same year. It is the first volume of a trilogy that includes The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904) and The Story of the Amulet (1906). The book has never been out of print since its initial publication.

Edith Nesbit created an innovative body of work that combined realistic, contemporary children in real-world settings with magical objects – what would now be classed as contemporary fantasy – and adventures and sometimes travel to fantastic worlds. In doing so, she was a direct or indirect influence on many subsequent writers, including P. L. Travers (author of Mary Poppins), Edward Eager, Diana Wynne Jones and J. K. Rowling. C. S. Lewis was influenced by her in writing the Narnia series and mentions the Bastable children in The Magician's Nephew. Michael Moorcock would go on to write a series of steampunk novels with an adult Oswald Bastable (of The Treasure Seekers) as the lead character. In 2012, Jacqueline Wilson wrote a sequel to the Psammead trilogy, titled Four Children and It.

The series “The Psammy Show” (DQ, Method, Disney Germany) is a free adaptation of the book “Five Children and It,” before which it was adapted several times for television and cinema, including the 78 episodes anime series from the Japanese studio TMS, released in 1986, a six-episode series produced by BBC in 1991 and in 2004 feature film version was released at Toronto Film Festival featuring Freddie Highmore, Tara FitzGerald, Jonathan Bailey, Zoë Wanamaker and Kenneth Branagh with Eddie Izzard as the voice of the Psammead.