* Book : The Story of the Amulet (Psammead .2)
At the beginning of this book, the journalist father of Robert, Anthea, Cyril, and Jane has gone overseas to cover the war in Manchuria. Their mother has gone to Madeira to recuperate from an illness, taking with her their younger brother, the Lamb. The children are living with an old Nurse who has set up a boardinghouse in central London. Her only remaining boarder is a scholarly Egyptologist who has filled his bedsit with ancient artefacts. During the course of the book, the children get to know the "poor learned gentleman" and befriend him and call him Jimmy.
Cook's house is in Fitzrovia, the district of London near the British Museum, which Nesbit accurately conveys as having bookstalls and shops filled with unusual merchandise. In one of these shops the children find the Psammead. It had been captured by a trapper, who failed to recognise it as a magical being. The terrified creature cannot escape, for it can only grant wishes to others, not to itself. Using a ruse, the children persuade the shopkeeper to sell them the "mangy old monkey," and they free their old friend.