...the collection offers an enticing array of shifting perspectives...The pleasure of these essays lies not only in their individual arguments but also in the way they creatively challenge and complement each other, demonstrating the vitality of contemporary Nesbit criticism. (Children's Literature Association Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 2 (2007)
a most admirable and timely volume. (English Literature and Translation
Nesbit's works of fantasy nestle on many a child's bookshelf, and in this trilogy three of them reside: Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and The Story of the Amulet. In this collection of 13 essays scholars peek behind the fantasy and find plenty, including such topics as the ideologies of gender in the Psammead Trilogy, Fabianism and didacticism, the writing of empire, magical realism in the form of generic manipulation and mutation, comic spirituality and communicating humor, staging desire in Five Children and It, Nesbit's and Dickens's literary borrowings, parallels with the nineteenth-century moral tale, socialist utopia in The Story of the Amulet, H.R. Millar's expansions and subversions of the trilogy, and Edgar Eager's revisions. (Reference and Research Book News, August 2006
About the Author
Raymond E. Jones is a professor in the Department of English and Film Studies, the University of Alberta. He is author of Characters in Children's Literature (1997) and of articles on children's authors ranging from Maurice Sendak and Philippa Pearce to Monica Hughes and Michael Bedard. He is co-author, with Jon C. Stott, of Canadian Children's Books: A Guide to Authors and Illustrators (2000) and co-editor, with Jon C. Stott, of A World of Stories: Traditional Tales for Children (2006).