Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit, was first printed in 1905. It is a short read, just over three hundred pages. My copy is a little paperback that my mother gave me several years ago.
Do you see that curious creature on the cover of the book? That is a Psammead (pronounced Sammy-add). It is furry, with a spider-like body and eyes like snails’ that can extend and retract. And its whiskers are extremely sensitive! A Psammead (according to itself) is a Sand-Fairy. It lives in the sand, and it can grant wishes. It has been alive since the time of Megatheriums and Pterodactyls. When the five children in the story find the Psammead, they begin to tell him their wishes. He makes the wishes come true, but they only last ’til sunset. Then everything returns to normal again.
What would you wish for if you knew your wish would come true? Be careful how you answer that. It may not be as good as you expect. And that is the lesson this little book teaches.