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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 13 April 2010
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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on 25 October 2000
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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on 3 May 2014
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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on 8 March 2016
This book brought back memories of when my 2 sons were children. They used to watch the video of this over and over again and I sat with them often because I absolutely love the story.
I have grand children now and I'm creating new memories with them.
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on 28 May 2012
I was very dissapointed in this purchase which I bought for my grand daughter aged 6 There was an absence of illustrations and the written words were too small for a child to read The story had to be read by an adult which defeats the object of helping a child to read themselves Star rating 2
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on 27 August 2010
THE AUTHOR, CHARLES KINGSLEY (12 JUNE 1819 - 23 JANUARY 1875) WAS AN ENGLISH CLERGYMAN AND NOVELIST. HE WROTE "THE WATER BABIES" AT A TIME WHEN SMALL BOYS FROM POOR FAMILIES WERE SENT UP CHIMNEYS TO BRUSH DOWN AND REMOVE THE SOOT. INDEED CHIMNEYS OF LARGE HOUSES WERE OFTEN SPECIALLY DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE THEM. IT WAS A CRUEL JOB FOR THESE LADS, SAY AROUND 9 YEARS OLD, AND THEY HAD A MISERABLE EXISTENCE AT A TIME WHEN SOCIETY HAD NOT YET REALISED THAT ALL CHILDREN NEED PROPER EDUCATION.

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO PARENTS OF CHILDREN APPROACHING THEIR TEENS AND TO THESE CHILDREN THEMSELVES, WHO ENJOY READING. IT GIVES A WONDERFUL AND EXCITING DESCRIPTION OF ONE OR THESE YOUNG AND UNFORTUNATE CHIMNEY SWEEPS. FURTHER, THE BOOK PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL ROLE IN SUCH PRACTISES BEING ABOLISHED.

BOYS SHOULD NOT BE PUT OFF BY THE TITLE. "WATER BABIES" DO NOT ARISE IN THE TEXT UNTIL THE LATER PART OF THE BOOK . INDEED THEIR STORY IS A FANTASY, LESS IMPORTANT IN MY OPINION THAN THE EARLIER POWERFUL DESCRIPTION OF THE AWFUL LIFE INFLICTED ON THESE YOUNG CHIMNEY SWEEPS UP TO AROUND THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY.

CHARLES WICKHAM-JONES
OXFORD
AUGUST 2010
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on 5 March 2014
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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on 25 June 2012
'The Water Babies' - wasted on children - at least it was when I was one! I don't remember ever getting beyond page one as a child, finding the sentences a bit too long for my concentration span. But having just read a life of Charles Darwin, and piecing together some strands of 19th century history of ideas, particularly popular science, I found it fascinating. It certainly helps if you know more about the Victorians and the Linnaean Society than I did as a child. This book appeared in 1862-1863, just when the world was chattering about Darwin's 'Origin of Species' and it contains an affectionate cameo of Darwin in the shape of a loveable giant collector of creatures. I never knew this book was so funny. It helps if you can hear Uncle Charles Kingsley reading it to you. I have just given it to my scientist daughter for her 25th birthday and hope she sticks with it, (she's not a great reader of fiction) because I am sure she'll love this take on the fashions in the classification of species. A really good read.
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on 31 July 2013
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. The character "Mrs DoAsYouWouldBeDoneBy" is a fantastic person not just for the past but definitely for the future. If he remembers no one else it is a great life lesson. He is only five but is loving a chapter each night when he's not too tired! Makes swimming much more fun!
A must read for any child.
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on 24 January 2013
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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