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William the Curious: Knight of the Water Lilies Hardcover – September 16, 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?Santore has spun a charming environmentalist fairy tale about William, a curious frog who lives in the moat of a castle. Though the queen is an angry, impatient perfectionist who never notices him, he respects her. When a new castle law demands that anything not "absolutely perfect" be tossed into the moat, he volunteers to find out why it is being polluted. Readers see William dodging the floating furniture, books, garbage, pots, etc., in the detailed illustrations. On his dangerous mission, he spies a broken toy knight lying on the very last living water lily. Protecting himself with its armor, he approaches the queen. A scuffle with two burly guards causes the monarch to ask what the noise is all about and William gets his chance to ask her why "perfect" is so important. He shows her the moat's imperfection and she admits that in her zeal she has forgotten life's little things. In gratitude to him for raising her environmental consciousness, she be-knights him Sir William, Knight of the Water Lilies, Protector of the Castle Moat, and promises to restore his home to its original beauty. The realism of the slightly exaggerated drawings helps children see the utter devastation of the once-idyllic moat. Santore renders his drawings in appropriate colors that reinforce the mood of the text on each page. This enchantingly hopeful read-aloud should not be missed.?Susan Garland, Maynard Public Library, MA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

The Queen of the Land of Far and Wide demands perfection--absolute perfection--in all that she surveys from her windows, high in her perfect castle. She orders her minions to move mountains and to change the colors of the forest--but, alas, she is never satisfied. One day she makes a decree--all imperfect things in the castle must be thrown out of the windows. Soon the lovely, lily-blanketed moat below becomes a slimy, polluted junk pile. Blinded by her quest for perfection, the queen does not realize the havoc she has wrought on the harmony of her kingdom, and no one dares to tell her--except one very small and very brave frog named William. Here is the story of how he opens the queen's eyes, to see that nature, in and of itself, is perfect. Acclaimed artist Charles Santore's sumptuous illustrations and provocative "environmental fairytale" will have readers of all ages cheering the triumph of the courageous frog.  
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 630L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 16, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679887423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679887423
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,656,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Okay, I wish I was a kid again. Can I be a kid again?! I bought this book because it was about a knight who was curious and I can't think of a more perfect quest for a knight than curiosity. This is a little gem of a book and it could be made into a wonderful movie. It's art. It's a wonderful story about a knight who goes on a quest and learns that everything perfect is not so perfect. But that's okay. Even flawed it can be magical. William is a terrific character. The art work is fantastic, and I want to be young again. Mothers of young children should read this to them often. It's got a great message and it's clever. Not enough books for little boys either, and this is a great one. Buy it now.
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By A Customer on April 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a charming book that lets children (and adults) know that sometimes what appears to be perfect, isn't. The pictures a lovely and engaging and the story moves along well. My four year old declared "it should be a movie". Definitley a good bed time story.
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A Kid's Review on March 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I think William the Curious was a great book. I think the lesson was very reasonable. Being perfect isn't everything. I think the pictures are wonderful and I really liked this book. I was stunned by the great words that were in the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a wonderful story and amazing illustrations! I borrowed this from a library in August to read to my grandsons and they were sad when it needed to be returned to the library so I bought it for them and our other grandkids for Christmas. It is a wonderful book that I would highly recommend to anyone with children. FYI - I am a retired librarian.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best stories we've ever read which teaches children you can stand up for what you believe, no matter your size. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful too.
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