Caldecott medalist Paul O. Zelinsky brings to life the magical adventures of five children who stumble upon an ancient and grumpy sand fairy with the power to make wishes come true. The fairy grants the children one wish a day, and soon dreams of untold riches, flying, and other marvels become reality. But it Isn't long before greed and misunderstandings begin leading to one hilarious disaster after another, and the children start to wonder whether It might be best to wish that their fairy return to the sand. A wonderful, timeless tale, perfectly complemented with Paul Zelinsky's twelve warm and funny paintings.
This classic early 20th century British chapter book portrays the innocence of childhood when five children visit their new house in the country. Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and their baby brother who they lovingly call "Lamb" are ready to explore their new surroundings while their mum and dad are off on their own duties. They cannot wait to visit the nearby quarry where they very accidentally wake, from a many-years sleep, a peculiar looking and wish-granting sand fairy also known as a Psammead. The Psammead is a furry creature with a spider-like body, bat's ears and snail-like eyes. He has been asleep for thousands of years and he is not very pleased that he has been awakened. The children's first wish is to be beautiful, but when they arrive home looking very different, their nursemaid chases them outside as if they are stray urchins. The children know they can go to the Sammyad (their pet name for the creature) to remove the wish. They then wish to be rich and, of course, unintended consequences occur and bring the children back, rethinking their wishes. They enjoy many adventures and young readers will enjoy their wishes and the strange creature that grants them. Finally, a wish gone bad places the children in the position of letting an innocent man be charged with a crime or losing all the wishes granted by their furry "friend." This book is a classic that should be on all library shelves. 2004, HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 8 up.