Title: The Water Princess
Author: Susan Verde
Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds
Published: December 26, 2017
Theme: Hope and Perserverance
Character Origin: Human
Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 40
Ages: 5-8 | Book Level: 2.2 | Lexile Measure: 480L
Synopsis: 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.
When we look through a global lens, it’s so easy to take for granted the small things. Water is chief among them. Water is a right, not a privilege and we in the States can’t really fathom that but it’s true. Poverty is commonplace in places like Burkina Faso, Africa. I’m thankful that model, Georgie Badiel, was brave enough to share her experience with the world. Hopefully, this story will touch the hearts of young world-changers and proliferate through the world–someday. But today’s a great day to start!
Peter H. Reynolds delivers (as only he can) such beautiful illustrations. Verde and Reynolds bestow a masterful collaboration that draws the reader in from the cover to cover. I love Reynolds’ hand lettering and watercolor. They add a layer of complexity and authenticity to the text. Verde’s inclusion of French dialect words shows her astute awareness and appreciation of the region’s rich history. This is such an excellent book that you should definitely add to your bookshelf.