The Phoenix and the Carpet (Psammead #2)
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This is the second book in the Psammead Trilogy, following Five Children and It. 'For the egg was now red-hot, and inside it something was moving. Next moment there was a soft cracking sound; the egg burst in two, and out of it came a flame-coloured bird...' When a stone egg rolls out of the old rug that has been bought for the nursery, the children think nothing of it. A lovely glowing yellow, they place it on the mantelpiece to brighten up the room. But when the egg accidentally drops into the fire, a strange thing happens: out hatches a phoenix, resplendent in golden feathers - and very vain. If that weren't enough of a surprise, it tells them that their carpet is magic: it will take them to any place that they wish to visit - over their dusty London streets to the French coast, to tropical islands and an Indian bazaar. Guiding them throughout their adventures - though he's often more a hindrance than a help - is their new friend, the phoenix.