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The Water Babies (Children's Classics) [Paperback]

Charles Kingsley
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
RRP: £3.07
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Book Description

5 Dec 1994 Children's Classics
Tom, a poor orphan, is employed by the villainous chimney-sweep, Grimes, to climb up inside flues to clear away the soot. While engaged in this dreadful task, he loses his way and emerges in the bedroom of Ellie, the young daughter of the house who mistakes him for a thief. He runs away, and, hot and bothered, he slips into a cooling stream, falls asleep, and becomes a Water Baby. In his new life, he meets all sorts of aquatic creatures, including an engaging old lobster, other water babies, and at last reaches St Branden's Isle where he encounters the fierce Mrs Bedonebyeasyoudid and the motherly Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby. After a long and arduous quest to the Other-end-of-Nowhere young Tom achieves his heart's desire.

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The Water Babies (Children's Classics) + The Secret Garden (Children's Classics) + The Railway Children (Children's Classics)
Price For All Three: £5.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; New edition edition (5 Dec 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853261483
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853261480
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 194,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A new and unabridged edition of The Water-Babies is an unlooked-for pleasure. Everyone who has an interest in the exuberant, eclectic, ecological, and erotic aspects of Victorian literature should know this book. When combined with the definitive illustrations by Linley Sambourne and a wealth of explanatory notes, appendices, and other critical tools, this edition becomes indispensable. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Richard Kelly and to Broadview Press for editing and re-issuing this delightful and important work of Victorian children's literature."--Naomi Wood --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Richard Kelly is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He is the editor of the Broadview Editions of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars American english 13 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I opened this book it said in a note that the text had been Americanized. Why on earth?! It's by an English author and is set in England! And that is what put me off. Admittedly it is a bit hard going, but it is the product of an age gone by. I have read it before and wanted to refresh my memory of it but I gave up after coming across the various American spellings ('color' being the most jarring). Yes, I know some would say this is pathetic and prejudicial. It's only my opinion after all - others will be able to see past that irritation but I cannot
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never to young, and never growing old 25 Oct 2000
By A Customer
When The Water-Babies was read to me when I was very young, I fell in love with it. There aren't very many books that I can remember as well as this one from that age and The Water-Babies is one I will probably never forget. I always wished I was alive in those times, that I was a little girl then, and that I became a Water Baby. When I cut the cake on my 6th birthday party, my wish was that I could meet the charcters from the book, and go into the water and be a water baby. It is books like this that discourage modern authors. It's old-fashioned setting, and young characters rich and poor all add to its magic. And now if I ever hear of a chimney sweep, I think of water babies. Ellie was my favourite character and when I was little I wanted to be just like her. I even wanted my room to be done like hers. I would recommend The Water-Babies to anyone. It's magic is timeless, and I'm sure one day I will be reading it to my children with the same pleasure as my children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Memories are made of this! 3 May 2014
By Vonnie
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first read this book when I was about 10 years old. It was a birthday gift from an aunt. I loved the story and all it's colourful characters. Quite disturbing in parts and now re reading it as a 65 year old did not realise how dark a story it is. My granddaughter might struggle with some of the language, but I hope she enjoys the story as much as I did, as a child.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood memory 5 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a childood memory. I use Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby with the children in my school. I loved this book as a child and now children in school love it too.
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By jbroad
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Given the recent superb exploratory work into the effect on the children who inspired Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, I wonder if anyone has any insights into what happened to the son of Charles Kingsley to whom this fairy tale was dedicated. I only know that he died in Australia, but the tenor of the tale which he inspired suggests to me that he may also have suffered somewhat from having such a literary predator as a father.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Water Babies (Wordsworth Children's Classics 24 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
bought for my special needs son who loves all the songs and all the bright colours a very good film i would recommend these for anyone to buy
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Water Babies 28 April 2011
I read this book as a child and thought it would be nice to re-read it. Enjoyed it very much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great delivery 5 April 2010
This book is a great classic which I brought to help out my nephew with his reading. Delivery was very quick too. I'd totally recommend it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really good book
Published 1 month ago by Lucille Biggins
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
Beautiful illustration for an absolute classic of a book.

At the turn of the century great things in art and literature were achieved and the Water Baby is one of them.
Published 11 months ago by Stephane Masetto
1.0 out of 5 stars I haven't read it.
I bought this book for my daughter to read = because the one she had as a child had been lost and she said she missed it.
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars A half remembered tale from childhood
A bit "unpolitically correct" and the style is dated. I was glad to read this book again, but I would not read it to my younger grandchildren
Published 13 months ago by Joss
3.0 out of 5 stars book
good item and it was as described. Thank you. I would order again in the future if i needed to.
Published 14 months ago by Wendy Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
A really nice book - my 7 year old granddaughter, who is a fluernt reader, loves tihis book.Excellent price too.
Published 14 months ago by mollie
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book to be read to a child
My mother read this to me from a wonderful copy which had beautifully drawn pictures of the Water Babies. I loved it and have started reading it to my little boy. Read more
Published 15 months ago by JLP
4.0 out of 5 stars Great gift
For dads birthday present, this was a great looking gift to take him back to his chilhood. The seller was really helpful and the book was in lovely condition when it arrived. Read more
Published 20 months ago by david
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs Doasyouwouldbedonebyasyoudid
I had this story read to me, many times by my mother when I was a child. Any parent who reads to their child/grandchild should have this in their collection, it is the perfect... Read more
Published 21 months ago by vincent savage
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