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Water-Babies, The Hardcover – January 15, 2003
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
A chimney sweep kid ends up in the river, and gets some fantastic lessons along the way. Very avoidable.