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Water-Babies, The Hardcover – January 15, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: IndyPublish (January 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1404339507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1404339507
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,464,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Kelleher on February 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is 98% brilliant, and well worth reading more than once; but if you give it to a youngster to read, you'll definitely want to go over certain parts with him or her and explain that, as lovable and compassionate as Kingsley seems to have been overall, nobody's perfect.

Think Gulliver's Travels: a fantastical journey full of adventures and characters that all represent something in real life, thus conveying Kingsley's attitudes about child labor, the golden rule, profanity, life after death, treatment of the poor, English superiority, American arrogance (playful jabs), Roman Catholicism (irreverent pokes) and the Irish (more about that later).

The main character is a ten-year-old chimney sweep named Tom who works for an abusive master. While working at a nobleman's house, Tom climbs down the wrong chimney and finds himself in a lavishly furnished room where a beautiful - and very clean - girl is sleeping. On seeing himself in a mirror for the first time, he suddenly realizes how dirty he is, and starts to cry (and this sad scene may well cause the reader to do the same), waking the little girl and setting off a big ruckus. Thinking Tom is trying to rob them, the servants chase him, and he ends up wandering far from home. Delirious with fever, he decides to wash himself in a stream, where he "falls asleep," sheds his human body, and is turned into a water baby. He then goes on to have a series of fantastic adventures to complete his neglected moral education and prepare him for heaven.

Parts of the story are heartbreaking in ways children may not understand, which may be just as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Foxenberger on January 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the story as a child and just recently finished reading it again and it still enchants me. I do suggest that the book be read to a child as a bed time story so it can enjoyed to its fullest over a period of time and when the child has a question the story teller can stop and discuss the child's questions and concerns.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on September 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A fairly dull and didactic children's book, from memory. The author certainly didn't mind being unsubtle, in general, lambasting people of different races, religions, mindsets, nationalities, and even scientists.

A chimney sweep kid ends up in the river, and gets some fantastic lessons along the way. Very avoidable.
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