Monday, November 30, 2009

The Book-babies

I spent most of today sorting books at home. I freed shelf space in my room by taking out books Jake might like to read. They are now housed in a shelf in the living room.


Jake has been reading Eva Ibbotson's Island of the Aunts and cackles at all the juicy parts. He looks up occasionally to ask me what a new word means. I've busted out the old red Webster's for his use.

While sorting, I found my copy of an illustrated version of The Water Babies by Charles Kinglsey. Even now, I cannot peel my eyes from the pictures or keep from re-reading the words.




Tom is a young boy who runs away from his cruel master, the chimney sweep Mr. Grimes, and is transformed into a water-baby by fairies. In the river, he gets into all kinds of mischief, but is later set right by his teachers Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid and Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby. He also befriends Ellie, a kind little girl with golden hair.









Tom meets a shipwrecked dog who sneezes himself into a water-dog and they become companions on many adventures. They find Mother Carey at the Shiny Wall who tells them wonderful stories about the world for she is very old and wise. Eventually, Tom and his dog reach the Other-End-of-Nowhere.

The story teaches us about kindness and consequence. It tells about forgiveness and being brave. It shows us that, sometimes, we must travel a great distance to come full circle.




The week begins again tomorrow and I will face it feeling somewhat more alone than usual. For now, I imagine I have fallen into a river and the fairies have turned me into a water-baby. Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid is giving out sea-toffees. Later.


3 seen below:

the second coming of laizo said...

ur never alone.. :)

Katherine Annonomous said...

I know this post is old, but I got excited when I saw the illustrations. I have been looking for a copy of The Water Babies with those exact pictures. I was wondering if you could tell me more about this edition so that I can find a copy for myself. Thanks so much!

kubiyat said...

Hi Katherine! It's an abridged, illustrated version with art by Anne Grahame Johnstone. Here is the edition on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1022531.The_Water_Babies

Although my cover looks more like this one: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2892399-the-water-babies

Hope this still reaches you. I only saw the comment today.

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