Sunday, September 30, 2018

Review - The Water Princess

The Water Princess
by Susan Verde
illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Date: 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Based on supermodel Georgie Badiel’s childhood, a young girl dreams of bringing clean drinking water to her African village

With its wide sky and warm earth, Princess Gie Gie’s kingdom is a beautiful land. But clean drinking water is scarce in her small African village. And try as she might, Gie Gie cannot bring the water closer; she cannot make it run clearer. Every morning, she rises before the sun to make the long journey to the well. Instead of a crown, she wears a heavy pot on her head to collect the water. After the voyage home, after boiling the water to drink and clean with, Gie Gie thinks of the trip that tomorrow will bring. And she dreams. She dreams of a day when her village will have cool, crystal-clear water of its own.

Inspired by the childhood of African–born model Georgie Badiel, acclaimed author Susan Verde and award-winning author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds have come together to tell this moving story. As a child in Burkina Faso, Georgie and the other girls in her village had to walk for miles each day to collect water. This vibrant, engaging picture book sheds light on this struggle that continues all over the world today, instilling hope for a future when all children will have access to clean drinking water.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This would be an eye-opening book for a lot of kids. Imagine having to spend all day walking just to get clean water. You couldn't even go to school because of this! It's hard to believe that in the 21st century, almost a billion people still don't have access to clean water.

This book introduces this idea in an accessible way, with a sweet story about a little girl who goes with her mother each day to collect water. Gie Gie wishes the water were closer, but there's really nothing she can do about it.

The illustrations are really beautiful, evoking the plains of Africa and really setting the scene for the simple story.

I would definitely recommend this book, even to older kids who might think they're too old for picture books; it could start an interesting discussion about wells and water and inequality.

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4.33 out of 5

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