The five children find a cantankerous sand fairy or 'psammead' in a gravel pit. Every day 'It' will grant each of them a wish that lasts until sunset, often with disastrous consequences. Five Children and It was first published in 1902, and it has remained in print ever since. The Introduction to this edition examines Nesbit's life and her reading, showing how she was poised between the Victorian world and a new era in which children in literature were no longer mere projections of the adult viewpoint. Sandra Kemp examines how the narrative is structured around the acting out of literary fantasies, which always come down to earth. Nesbit combines wonderfully implausible events with the prosaic and familiar, and Kemp illuminates her exploration of the shifting relationship between imagination, literature, and life.