When reading The Five Children and It, I personally enjoyed how much the kids were depicted as real children with real desires. We have previously discussed throughout the course of how much children were idolized as little innocent beings that had almost angel-like qualities. They were unrealistic because their characters were written by an adult who desired for children to act a certain way. Nesbit on the other hand flipped the Victorians on their head with this novel. She received much critique for portraying the children in her novel as real; which in today’s world seems slightly ridiculous, but she was breaking the mold.
When it came to the wishes of the kids, their wishes were very real for what a child might want. I picture the Victorians expecting children to wish for perfect manners, the ability to read as many books as possible, or to always be obedient to their parents. But Edith Nesbit accurately sees children for who they are, and that’s big dreamers with realistic expectations. The children keep asking the Pssamead for food, which if I was to put myself back in my 8 year old state of mind, I would have asked for the same thing! Especially if I was hungry enough! Also, the wish to fly made perfect sense when climbing in to the mind of a child.
In other words, the change from the Victorian era to the Edwardian did wonders for children’s literature. No longer was the child expected to have morals constantly thrown at them, but they were able to be a child and enjoy their life. Edith Nesbit was one of the firsts who started to embrace that and show adults that a child’s life should not be perfection and lessons but fun with some learning.