Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: The Water Princess by Susan Verde


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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.

My thoughts…

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.

My rating…

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Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague

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Title: The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague

Author: Julia Finley Mosca

Illustrator: Daniel Rieley

Published: September 4, 2018

Theme: Perseverance, Sexism, and Racism

Character Origin: Human

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 40

Ages: 5-10 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure: GN460L

Synopsis: After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted―finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever.

The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague is the third book in a riveting educational series about the inspiring lives of amazing scientists. In addition to the illustrated rhyming tale, you’ll find a complete biography, fun facts, a colorful timeline of events, and even a note from Montague herself!

My thoughts…

I am a huge fan of learning about the impact of women in history and this gem of a book did not disappoint. It was both informative and inspiring. I loved the flow and content of the text. This book deals with issues ranging from sexism to racism. In spite of the many obstacles that Raye faced, she continued to strategically outmaneuver her white male counterparts.

Rieley’s illustrations were beautifully executed and complemented the text quite well. The detailed timeline and biography proficiently corroborate the narration. There is just so much to absolutely LOVE about this book. Raye Montague’s contributions to the Navy calls attention to her profound and impactful work. Thank you, Julie Mosca, for shining a light on an outstanding black woman who excelled where others thought she’d fail and is no longer a hidden figure.

My rating…