It's startling enough to have a phoenix hatch in your house, but even more startling when it talks and reveals that you have a magic carpet on the floor. The vain and ancient bird accompanies the children on a series of adventures through time and space which, magic being what it is, rarely turn out as they were meant . . . This sequel to Five Children and It continues the magical adventures of siblings Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and their baby brother.