Read The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit H.R. Millar Online


It's startling enough to have a phoenix hatch in your house, but even more startling when it talks and reveals that you have a magic carpet on the floor. The vain and ancient bird accompanies the children on a series of adventures through time and space. This book is a sequel to Five Children and It....

Title : The Phoenix and the Carpet
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140367393
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 289 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Phoenix and the Carpet Reviews

  • Manny
    2019-05-13 13:36

    That evening, Mother read to them from a book called The Phoenix and the Carpet, which she had had since she was a little girl. Like all the best children's books, it was written to be read aloud; you immediately knew that Mrs. Nesbit had read it aloud to her own children, and every now and then she had put in a little joke for her husband, who was pretending to do something important but was really listening too. Mrs. Nesbit had a wonderful imagination, and she also had a strong moral sense; so strong, in fact, that she knew, without even stopping to consider the question, that it is most inconsiderate to put improving thoughts into children's books without first making them amusing. Both the children and their parents thought she wrote very well. The children just said that her books weren't boring, like most of the old books that Mother sometimes tried to read to them, while the grown-ups explained it in a more complicated way, using words like Ironic Detachment and Economy of Phrase. It is very rare to find all these excellent qualities combined in one person: almost as rare as to find a Phoenix's egg hidden inside a magic carpet, but not quite.

  • Jo
    2019-04-28 16:39

    "I daresay they're not real cats," said Jane madly, "Perhaps they're only dream-cats.""I'll dream-cat you, my lady," was the brief response of the force."In regards to this book, I'm going to write something so groundbreaking that I would be willing to bet lots and lots of metaphorical pounds on the fact that no one has ever said, written or even thought about this idea when they closed the pages of Ms Nesbit's wonderful book. (view spoiler)[I wish I had a Phoenix and a magic carpet (hide spoiler)]I'm going to change the world with this 'ere noggin.

  • Anna Kļaviņa
    2019-05-08 12:54

    Sadly, classism, sexism and racism did dampen my enjoyment of this otherwise fantastic children's book.

  • Janelle
    2019-04-28 11:42

    Delightful shenanigans with four children who are left home alone suspiciously often. I had considered only giving it four stars, due to frequent references to savages and naive notions about burglars. Not to mention comments that it's unmanly for boys to cry. But I just can't help myself. It's just too wonderful for four stars. Many thanks go to the Librivox narrator, Helen Taylor, for her beautiful reading.

  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    2019-05-10 15:55

    I loved this book and the series as a young girl. This book transported me with its imaginative plot and made me want to be one of the lucky children on a magic carpet!It's one of those timeless children's books that I hope children may still read today. Up there with books like The Famous Five by Enid Blyton and the Trixie Belden series. One of my all time favourite books as an avid younger reader. 5 magical stars for entertainment, great plot, magic and characters.

  • Rebecca
    2019-05-19 11:33

    Delightful Edwardian flying carpet larks. Second book in the 'Five Children and It' trilogy. The endearing 'n' pompous Phoenix is one of my favourite characters in literature.*wipes tear*

  • Lucy Fisher
    2019-05-20 15:42

    I love the Phoenix, he is as vain as Hercule Poirot, but his self-esteem fades as the stories progress. I love his pedantic, precise voice, and the way he washes up the teacups. I agree with another reviewer that the cat episode is almost too painful to be entertaining. Another thing that strikes me when reading as an adult - how affectionate the family is. They are always hugging each other (though the boys think this is a bit soppy), they have warm and loving parents and an adorable baby brother. As a child reader, I think I just wanted to get on with the adventures. (And we think the Victorians were cold and distant with their children. Perhaps that was us!) The family are middle-class but not well off; their house is shabby, and they live in Camden Town, rather too near Kentish Town. And yes, we weren't so politically correct in 1904. There are working class characters: the policeman is rather frightening, the burglar is appealing (while claiming it's his first job, honest), but the servants are not sympathetically portrayed. The cook does mellow under the tropical sun, however. I'm trying to protect Nesbit (who was quite a leftie and a "new woman"), but I'm afraid she fell into the "servant joke" common in her day. For more background, read Alison Light's Mrs Woolf and the Servants and Virginia Nicholson's Among the Bohemians. At least the children knew how to lay a fire and wash up.

  • Alicia
    2019-05-22 13:49

    I heard (in a book about little-known classics) that this was a great Christmastime read-aloud. It did take place around Christmastime, but it's not about Christmas at all. Our family loved the first book of this trilogy (Five Children and It), and the Phoenix and the Carpet was almost as good. Nine-year-old Josh loved this book and can't wait to read the third book together. I enjoy E. Nesbit's writing; she is so clever and entertaining and we laughed through this book. Here's a part we enjoyed (describing when Robert was hiding the bird in his coat):"Robert pretended that he was too cold to take off his greatcoat, and so sat sweltering through what would otherwise have been a thrilling meal. He felt that he was a blot on the smart beauty of the family, and he hoped the Phoenix knew what he was suffering for its sake. Of course, we are all pleased to suffer for the sake of others, but we like them to know it -- unless we were the very best and noblest kind of people, and Robert was just ordinary." (p. 209)

  • Tocotin
    2019-05-07 13:52

    Oh my! What's going on? It was one of my childhood favorites! OMG. These children are just beyond obnoxious. Their family is described as of moderate means, but they act like completely spoiled brats."'Is that being kind to servants and animals, like the clergyman said?' asked Jane."They don't care for anyone else except themselves and their family. All the others are tools, or plainly invisible to them anyway. There is one nasty scene when they get home by mistake, when only the servants are supposed to be there, and discover the servants are actually away, enjoying their free time. The brats CHILDREN are completely appalled that the servants haven't been chained next to the family's precious pots and pans. With the help of the magical Phoenix or maybe the carpet, I don't remember, they succeed in blackmailing placating the servants:"'There's nothing like firmness,' Cyril went on, when the breakfast things were cleared away and the children were alone in the nursery. 'People are always talking of difficulties with servants. It's quite simple, when you know the way. We can do when we like now and they won't peach. I think we've broken THEIR proud spirit. Let's go somewhere by carpet.'"Ahaha. Well I never. You are nothing without your magical gizmos, CHILDREN. Your story ends when they leave you. Buh-bye.

  • Melissa McShane
    2019-05-24 09:40

    I don't like this one as much as Five Children and It, probably because where the Psammead is only grouchy and annoying, the Phoenix is self-centered to the point of getting the kids into trouble. The theme is the same as the first book: the children get three wishes a day from the magic carpet, and as usual their wishes go awry. My favorite of their adventures is where they're flying along, see a tower whose top is the same size as the carpet, and set down only to find that there's no actual roof and they're descending into what might as well be an elevator shaft. Unlike their other stupid choices, that seems like a natural and embarrassing mistake to make.

  • Wreade1872
    2019-04-26 12:43

    So this is a direct sequel to 'Five Children and It', so if you havn't read that, this might seem a bit odd in places. I think i rated both books the same, this is superior in places but has a harder time trying to find reasons for things to happen and struggles to avoid repeating itself.There's some jokes which might appeal to adults rather than kids in places so not a terrible thing if your reading it to someone. Overall not a huge fan but entertaining enough. I listened to some of it on a very good Libravox recording by a Helen Taylor.

  • C Hellisen
    2019-05-24 10:52

    While I really enjoyed the writing style of the book, especially the arch little comments on human behaviour, it was hard for me to get past the casual "oh those poor childish savages" racism inherent in books from this era.I think when the Spawn read this, we'll have a little talk about the racism in books by writers like Nesbit, Blyton and Kipling, and what it says about humanity (and hopefully how we've moved on, at least a little.)

  • Lindsay
    2019-04-29 11:38

    Her dry wit and observational humour makes these books very readable as an adult - much more like Richmal Crompton than Enid Blyton. Despite being written over a century ago this series is still so fresh and funny. Her warts-and-all portrayal of children is a lot more genuine than some other classics of the era.

  • Jennieowen
    2019-05-22 10:57

    Listened on audible with the kids. Good fun for us all!

  • Cynthia Egbert
    2019-05-20 15:44

    I read them out of order but it matters not, Nesbit charms at every level. If you have young children or if you are a soul who loves fairy tales, please read the adventures of these delightful children. The quotes that caught my fancy:"Father and mother had not the least idea of what had happened in their absence. This is often the case, even when there are no magic carpets or Phoenixes in the house.""We mustn't expect old heads on young shoulders.""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 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 best.""Mother laid down her pen, and her nice face had a resigned expression. As you know, a resigned expression always makes you want not to tell anybody anything.""I am not going to describe the ranee's palace, because I really have never seen the palace of a ranee, and Mr. Kipling has. So you can read about it in his books.""And when the children went to bed that night the Phoenix was still trying to cut down the last line of its ode to the proper length without taking out any of what it wanted to say. That is what makes poetry so difficult.""Well, look here, you know there's something about Christmas that makes you want to be good - however little you wish it at other times.""That is the one of the most annoying things about stories, you cannot tell all the different parts of them at the same time.""Of course, we are all pleased to suffer for the sake of others, but we like them to know it - unless we are the very best and noblest kind of people, and Robert was just ordinary."

  • Matilda Rose
    2019-05-17 14:43

    In the second in the trilogy, Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and their baby brother buy an enchanted wishing carpet! Cyril (also known as Squirrel), Anthea (known as Panther), Robert (Bobs), Jane (Pussy), and their brother (the Lamb) accidentally hatch a Phoenix egg in the fire which Bobs found in the carpet! The five children are overjoyed, but, as it is with magic, rarely everything goes as planned..When the children wish for milk for the 199 Persian cats they had due to the wishing carpet, the carpet brings back a cow(!), and Pussy convinces a burglar to milk it for them. When the Lamb wishes himself away to an unknown place on the wishing carpet, his four elder siblings are relieved to find he'd wished himself to their mother, and when the children's cook gets on their nerves, they wish her away to a desert island where their cook is crowned queen, and the Lamb is cured of his cough!Although nothing ever goes to plan, the clever children always manage to sort it out, though they would never have made it out of a few scrapes if it had not have been for the Phoenix. Vain and conceited, the Phoenix thinks itself higher and grander than anyone, but is honest and kind, and is a good friend to all children, especially Robert, who hatched his egg.I thought this book was well written, and I loved the adventures that the children went on. Edith has a lovely way of writing that's really expressive and humourous. I cannot wait to read the third in the trilogy, The Amulet.

  • Keertana Pillai
    2019-04-29 11:56

    The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit, is the first of its kind, in the Fantasy genre, arriving years before the Lord of the Rings series or the Narnia series or the all-time favourite, the Harry Potter series.E. Nesbit wonderfully relates the fascinating and spellbinding adventures of the children Cyril, Andrea, Jane, Robert and the Lamb in this book and its prequel and sequel. The children are trying out fireworks obtained at a cheap price so as not to be "embarrassed" in front of the neighbouring kids if they do not work, when their indoor firework-testing leads to disastrous consequences which include the carpet being burnt. They purchase a new carpet from a vendor whose ways are suspicious, and on returning home discover a round object. Smooth and shiny like an egg. A few more attempts at adventure and magic precede an accident that lands the egg in a sweet-scented fire. Lo, and behold, a majestic talking phoenix appears who tells them that by the way, their carpet is magical. And that is all it takes for the children to be lost in a series of mad adventures with a faithful carpet and a vain bird. This book subtly hints at very important things most fantasy books do not even finger.Good things don't last forever, there is a price to be paid for everything, and that you don't have to be brave, noble, daring, kind, well--mannered, hard- working, or in short, a goody-two shoes for adventure to find you. Go looking for it. Trust me, there's an adventure.Way to go Nesbit!

  • Hollowspine
    2019-05-16 16:38

    After reading Five Children and It, I was compelled to find out if more stories about the five children existed and soon enough here I am reading the Phoenix and the Carpet, which stars the same five children, though this one concentrates mainly on the older four, who discover, in the folds of their new nursery carpet a beautiful egg, which ends up in the coals of the fireplace during some small scuffle. Thus is reborn the Phoenix, who informs the children about the magic qualities of their carpet and becomes a travelling companion to them.Although the psammead is mentioned a few times the sand fairy is not the focus of this work and there are no wings or unnatural beauty attributed to the children this time, but that doesn't stop them from getting into the most hilarious situations.My favorite chapters began when the carpet brought the children 'delightful things' from it's Persian homeland and ended up with a rather bizarre marriage ceremony. This will certainly not be the last I'll read of E. Nesbit, but sadly it seems there is only one more adventure for Anthea, Cyril, Robert and Jane. I want to save it and read it at the same time!I'm surprised that I'd never heard of the story throughout school since they are such hilarious stories and really great when read aloud, if you can find someone who does good accents. I really recommend this for anyone, especially to read in funny voices to children (I would have loved that). And no one would say, "This has such good lessons for mannerly children." Or, "How true to life." Or any of that rot.

  • Drew
    2019-05-05 11:34

    The lesser-known sequel to Five Children and It turns out to be just as cheeky as the original (if not moreso), though the plot is essentially the same: four children (the baby comes into this story even less than he does in the first book) are given wishes, which don't quite turn out as expected. Instead of a Psammead, this book features a flying Wishing Carpet and a golden Phoenix who acts as a sort of middleman or go-between for the children and the carpet. The Phoenix is just as singular a character as the first book's grumpy sand-fairy. Vain and loquacious, the Phoenix acts as a sort of guide for the children's adventures, and at times makes his own demands upon the children or upbraids them for their behavior. The lofty tone of the Phoenix's lectures are hilariously juxtaposted against his own narcissism, which makes The Phoenix and the Carpet just as enjoyable for adults as for its intended audience of children. All the lessons are delivered with a wink, and you get the sense that Nesbit enjoyed walking that thin line between high moral teaching and subversive troublemaking. This book is 100 years old next year. Given its age, expect to encounter a few archaisms as well as references to 1904 English culture that are going to be lost on modern readers. But these aren't roadblocks to enjoying the book.

  • Brian
    2019-04-26 08:38

    Don't read this expecting fantasy. It is more like farce or a comic, but Nesbit never fails to invent human characters and that is primarily what I really get out of her books. Even when including such an exotic animal as the Phoenix, she imbues him with a humorous sense of dignity and ceremony that causes no end of trouble for the children.Every once in a while Nesbit writes a gem. One of my favorite insightful and thought-provoking ones was: "He felt that he was a blot on the smart beauty of the family, and he hoped the Phoenix knew what he was suffering for its sake. Of course, we are all pleased to suffer for the sake of others, but we like them to know it unless we are the very best and noblest kind of people, and Robert was just ordinary."The stories are fairly self-contained, but also very funny. The ending to the Two Bazaars was nothing short of brilliant and The Temple is buckets of laughter. The Mews From Persia is a bit too painful and realistic to be funny at times. A lot of this book is quite memorable and the clergymen come off quite nice.Oh, and 'Whirling Worlds' is the game where you swing the baby round and round by his hands. Good thing to know.

  • NJ Wong
    2019-05-05 10:29

    This is the sequel to "5 Children and It". The same children are featured, but not the Psammead. Instead, the children come across a magic carpet that can grant them 3 wishes per day (instead of the Psammead's one wish per day). Hence, the structure of the book follows very closely to the first book, detailing the children's adventures with their wishes.However, in this book, the children also get to use their wishes for the good of others, which is much better story telling than the earlier one in which every wish of the children ends in some form of disaster. However, the book fails in not having a good way of concluding. It feels very forced (using the device that the phoenix has grown tired of life with the children, and wants to leave them and live a life in solitude seems such a cop out). I don't know why Nesbit couldn't concoct a much better ending than the one offered.Still, I like this better than "5 Children and It".

  • Catherine Gillespie
    2019-05-07 09:38

    If you liked Five Children and It (which of course you did, how could you not?) you will also like the reprise of the same family having adventures in The Phoenix and the Carpet, except this time instead of a Psammead they have adventures with…wait for it…a phoenix and a magic carpet. We really love these siblings now, and had great fun with this book as a bedtime read-aloud. I was wiser in my choice of a more sustainable voice for the Phoenix but the chapters in the book do run long. A few times I got away with reading only a half chapter, but the last night we were all so intent on finding out what happens that I read 68 straight pages and that, my friends, was a lot. Worth it though–this book is great fun and highly recommended.{Read more reviews of read alouds and books for kids (and adults!) on A Spirited Mind}

  • Tra-Kay
    2019-05-15 16:31

    I liked "Five Children and It" a lot, but the addition of the Phoenix makes this one wildly enjoyable. The Psammead was fun because it was a grump and very sensitive about water and its whisker; the Phoenix is even better because it is a charming combination of vanity, wisdom, resourcefulness, grandiosity, kindness, and more. The mysterious character of the humble and obedient carpet, and its relationship with the Phoenix, adds yet another layer to the fun. The adventures in this one were also often better, and the scenes with Mother generally very sweet. Overall I felt this sequel had a more grand and realistic atmosphere, as well as more and better humor. Great stuff.

  • Francis Bruynseels
    2019-05-07 11:51

    A charming book. You really get an impression of Nesbit's presence as an unconventional fun-loving creator. A very easy read, just as enjoyable today as a hundred years ago. However I think children today would need some help with the old technology often talked about in order not to be put off.This review is out of sequence. I read it in November.

  • CLM
    2019-05-21 09:29

    Perhaps my favorite of this trilogy - I like the magic carpet, which becomes worn at the edges as it transports the children, and the melancholy Phoenix. But I never understood how Anthea could rhyme with Panther!

  • Sally
    2019-05-11 15:44

    This is the second in a trilogy of books featuring the family of 5 siblings. The family acquires a new carpet for the nursery which turns out to be a magic one and also delivers an egg which turns into a phoenix when it gets dropped into the fireplace. The magic carpet takes the children to other places and, as seems usual in these E. Nesbit books, brings about unexpected events. The magical phoenix accompanies them and more or less tries to explain things and help with situations. The phoenix also calls upon another magical creature, a sand fairy called Psammead which the children encountered in the first of the trilogy (Five Children and It), to aid in extricating the children from some impossible situations.Although I often like children's stories, I didn't particularly like this one. I did not like the phoenix at all. However, young readers might enjoy the story.

  • Misti
    2019-04-28 08:46

    Cyril, Robert, Anthea, and Jane are rather hard on their belongings. When their old nursery carpet is destroyed in an accident with some fireworks, their mother replaces it with a bargain carpet from a salesman. When that carpet arrives, it is rolled around an egg with a most extraordinary appearance — and when that egg accidentally falls into the fire, a new set of adventures begins.I always enjoy Nesbit’s books. Such good characters, and such fantastical plots! This book is actually the sequel to Five Children and It, but it’s not necessary to have read that book (I hadn’t, and I was able to follow along just fine). I’m a little sad that I never read these books as a child, because I know I would have enjoyed them!

  • Tahera
    2019-05-20 15:42

    Did not like this book as much as 'Five Children and It'... I felt the children had better adventures in the first book with the Psammead than they did with the Phoenix or the carpet....maybe they made better wishes in the first book than the second.

  • Chris
    2019-04-28 11:46

    The common advice to would-be fiction authors is to “write about what you know”. A phoenix and a flying carpet aren’t of course really within one’s everyday experience, but at heart the events that take place and many of this fantasy’s settings are taken from real life, a fair few of which hark back to Nesbit’s own childhood in the Victorian period.The reminiscences in Long Ago When I Was Young, though only first published as a collection in 1966, were serialised before Nesbit embarked on her career as a children’s writer and partly the spur for her successful forays into publishing. A significant number of the incidents in The Phoenix and the Carpet can be directly traced to the memories she presents in Long Ago. A mysterious keep-like stone structure that appears in ‘The Topless Tower’ and ‘Doing Good’ is based on the same building that the young Edith encountered in France, as recounted in the chapter entitled ‘In Auvergne’. ‘Doing Good’ also highlights themes that she had previously visited within ‘In the Dark’ and ‘Mummies at Bordeaux’. And ‘Two Bazaars’ may well be partly based on the bazaar that Edith experiences in ‘Lessons in French’.We will have already met the children of this novel in Five Children and It, where they spend their summer holidays in the country ‘at a white house between a sand pit and a gravel pit’. Then they encountered a sand-fairy, the Psammead; now, in early November, they discover an egg rolled up in a carpet, replacement for a previous one in their Camden Town home ruined by a firework on Bonfire Night.The five children are now mostly four – Cyril (called Squirrel), Robert (rather more prosaically called Bobs), Anthea (Panther) and Jane (Puss). Hilary is the remaining child (the toddler maintains the animal theme by being referred to as The Lamb), though he only appears occasionally and then to unwittingly cause mayhem. (The animal theme continues when the Phoenix hatches, and again later when more creatures make their appearances – Persian cats and, bizarrely, a cow.) The two boys are typically well-mannered and well-meaning but liable to make unwise decisions. Anthea may most resemble the author – tomboyish but creative – while Jane, the youngest of the four, is more ‘girly’ and, well, wimpish, prone to burst into tears at the merest hint of danger. (Mind you, danger, real or potential, does always seem to be round the corner.) But, as Nesbit says, even though ‘boys never cry, of course,’ Cyril and Robert are also susceptible to emotion, making faces ‘in their efforts to behave in a really manly way’.The Phoenix itself is a marvellous creation. Vain and garrulous, he tells the children about the magic Persian carpet which grants three wishes a day. They use it to transport themselves to various more or less exotic places, from France to the Middle East, from the City of London to a desert island. In keeping with their original serial publication, the chapters at first appear episodic and unrelated to each other, merely recounting separate adventures where the siblings get themselves into scrapes. But as the story progresses Nesbit starts to weave in themes from earlier chapters – the cook, the ‘topless tower’, the absent-minded curate – and naturally the overall motif of fire runs brightly through the narrative pattern, with dire consequences for the flammable flying carpet. From that first Guy Fawkes Night through the rebirth of the Phoenix from the flames, the setting alight of an increasingly frayed carpet and a visit to the Phoenix Fire Office in Lombard Street we arrive at the potentially catastrophic conflagration at the Garrick Theatre. Ironically, the last takes place at a dramatisation of Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies (a genuine production from 1902), and water becomes another underlying theme, as with the visit to the tropical island to alleviate the Lamb’s whooping cough or the booby-trap with a pail of water balanced on a door.The Phoenix and the Carpet is more than just a re-run of Five Children and It with the bird and the rug substituting for the Psammead and a succession of escapades. The children become even more individual in character, especially Robert with his unexpected affection for the Phoenix; and the Phoenix itself is a distinct personage, different from the grumpy Psammead with its unintentionally entertaining if increasingly tedious chatter, inflated sense of self-importance and embarrassing avuncularism. Adults too have their part to play, but mostly they are bemused by the magic played out before their eyes, ascribing the sights they experience and the things they hear to a curious daydream. Which is, as is the way of metafiction, exactly what it is.Above all, what I most liked is Nesbit’s humour, evident from her asides, her descriptions of the children’s thought-processes and her delight in their convoluted attempts to Do The Right Thing. Modern sensibilities may be upset by some aspects – such as her portrayal of native peoples or Jews – though, this being Nesbit, her teasing tongue-in-cheek tone and her Fabian socialist sympathies suggest she mightn’t necessarily share those common prejudices.

  • Tamara Zann
    2019-05-17 10:42

    It's a book to read just once. It is not funny or instructive or gripping. The characters are sweet but rather flat and the plot isn't really a plot. For a one time quick read the book is nice though.