STARRED REVIEW
September 13, 2016

When water cannot be taken for granted

By Georgie Badiel & Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Water Princess Gie Gie lives and plays in the vast beauty of Africa, a world where water is immeasurably precious and limited. Gie Gie and her mother must fetch water daily—a trip of many miles under the hot sun. They make the most of the strenuous journey, singing and dancing and reuniting with friends at the well. However, even after returning home, Gie Gie’s chore is not complete; the water must be boiled before drinking, clothes must be washed, a meal must be cooked for her family.

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Water Princess Gie Gie lives and plays in the vast beauty of Africa, a world where water is immeasurably precious and limited. Gie Gie and her mother must fetch water daily—a trip of many miles under the hot sun. They make the most of the strenuous journey, singing and dancing and reuniting with friends at the well. However, even after returning home, Gie Gie’s chore is not complete; the water must be boiled before drinking, clothes must be washed, a meal must be cooked for her family. With determined and vivid creativity, Gie Gie envisions making the water come to her. But this isn’t just the imaginings of a storybook character; The Water Princess is inspired by fashion model Georgie Badiel’s childhood in the arid climate of Burkina Faso. Today Badiel helps raise funds to build wells and plant trees in her former home.

Well-loved author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds (The Dot) welcomes us to Africa with his recognizable, soft and energetic illustrations. Browns, oranges and yellows are warm and inviting, while simultaneously evoking the intense dusty, hot, water-scarce environment. Author Susan Verde (The Museum, You and Me) deftly narrates with a young girl’s honesty and imagination. Readers will find her voice poetic and precise. Alternatively weary and wise, Gie Gie will draw in young readers with her determination and liveliness.

A profoundly beautiful story in its own right, the real-world truth behind The Water Princess adds compelling depth and vitalness to Gie Gie’s story. Destined to make an impact, The Water Princess will entertain, educate and even inspire readers of all ages to join in Badiel’s mission. 

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The Water Princess

The Water Princess

By Georgie Badiel & Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Putnam
ISBN 9780399172588

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