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The Water Princess

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,940 ratings  ·  536 reviews
Based on supermodel Georgie Badiel’s childhood, a young girl dreams of bringing clean drinking water to her African village

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 mornin
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  2,940 ratings  ·  536 reviews

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Wow, I wasn’t expecting this wonder at all. This is based on the childhood experiences of Georgie Badiel. This village had to walk 4 miles every day to fill a jug of water and back and that was their water for the day: drinking water, washing water. When it was out, there was no more water.

Our girl prayed for rain and water from the sky to fall so she wouldn’t have to walk to get the muddy water. It wasn’t always clean water.

The artwork is amazing with rich earth tones. The protagonist is amazi
La Coccinelle
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This would be an eye-opening book for a lot of kids. Imagine having to spend all day walking just to get clean water. You couldn't even go to school because of this! It's hard to believe that in the 21st century, almost a billion people still don't have access to clean water.

This book introduces this idea in an accessible way, with a sweet story about a little girl who goes with her mother each day to collect water. Gie Gie wishes the water were closer, but there's really nothing she can do abou
This definitely is a good read a loud that teaches children about how the world doesn't necessarily have the same amount of clean drinking water for everyone. Some people have to walk miles everyday just to get clean drinking water. The artwork was amazing and I definitely want to learn more about the foundation that was discussed at the end. ...more
Otis Chandler
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-my-kids
I happened upon this book the night after the Charity:Water annual gala. Charity:Water is an amazing organization that helps people exactly like the ones in this story.
This is a surprisingly light-hearted book considering the topic is water poverty.  Because the book is told through the eyes of a child, many pages reflect an innocence and joyfulness that carry the "Water Princess" through one of her long and arduous days. 

The beautiful illustrations start with a young girl, Princess Gie Gie, looking up at a sky full of countless stars, "My kingdom . . . the African sky, so wide and so close.  I can almost touch the sharp edges of the stars."  The full page ill
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: girl-power, kidstuff
Imagine needing to make a daily trek for miles and miles to obtain something most of us take for granted - water. Many women in Africa send their days doing just this, as one in six people do not have access to clean drinking water.

The author makes does a fine job of relating this sad fact for the younger reader, including two pages at the end of the book with actual photos, and ways the reader can make a difference.

The artwork by Peter H Reynolds is simply stunning.


Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Poverty & Resource Scarcity
Inspired by the childhood experiences of fashion model Georgie Badiel, who spent her summers fetching water from a well some distance from her grandmother's village in Burkina Faso, author Susan Verde and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds have crafted a tale of Princess Gie Gie, who dreams of a day when cool, clean water is readily available nearer to her home. Wishing alone cannot help her, however, and every day she makes the long trek with her mother to fetch their family's water supply...

An enga
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not to be able to receive an education because you spend your day--every single day of your life--just trying to gather the neccesities to survive; it's unimaginable, but it's reality for so much of the world.

The Water Princess doesn't preach or beat the reader over the head; rather, it invites the reader to walk along the characters and visit Gie Gie and her family for just one day to experience what it is like to live without daily water accessible whenever we want. A very powerful message t
Jun 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Looking forward to reading the author's notes in the finished copy. The artwork is stunning and the story is powerful. ...more
In Africa, water is precious because it is scarce. In some villages there isn't even a well yet, so the women must go to collect some from the river every day. It is hard work, and the water itself isn't even clean. The Water Princess, a story based on the childhood experiences of Georgie Badiel, brings this issue to the fore in a heartfelt way. In it, a young girl named Gie Gie imagines herself a princess who can control all around her, all except water, which refuses to listen. Her childlike g ...more
Sara Grochowski
Stunning. A great conversation starter about different life experiences & making a difference.
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
This gorgeous picturebook is based on the childhood experience of Georgie Badiel, a supermodel who started a foundation committed to providing access to clean drinking water to Burkina Faso and other African countries.
“Imagine if you couldn’t go to school because you had to spend each day walking for miles just to get water and not even know if the water you reach will be clean.”

Susan Verde's poetic, gentle, simple story made me thirsty just by reading it and served as a powerful awakening.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Water Princess is about a girl named Gie Gie and how she had to travel miles everyday just to have access to water. It described how she had to wake up, before the sun rose, walk over 4 miles to get water and then spend the rest of the day walking back. Gie Gie and her mom wouldn't return until sun down. Then they would clean the water in order to drink it, cook with it and clean their clothes with it. Then the process would happen again the next day.

This book is a wonderful depiction of a
The Reading Countess
Short, yet powerful phrases tell the trials of how one out of six human beings (!) endure a lack of access to clean water. Women and girls are the usual servants to the daily treks miles away to and from water holes, thereby eliminating any possibility of schooling.

The voice in this is spot on. The illustrations are drawn by none other than Peter Reynolds. I plan on reading this aloud to kick off our annual Read to Feed.

Highly recommended
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting and eye opening but . . . not much in the way of a plot.
Niki Marion
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fabulous conversation starter for all of us who take our plumbing and access to water for granted.

In related news, where is my picturebook about Flint, Michigan?
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This story is based on the childhood of the high-fashion model Georgie Badiel, “Gie Gie,” who was born in Burkina Faso.

As a young girl, Gie Gie, along with the other girls and women of her grandmother’s village, walked every single day for miles to fill up pots with water, which they carried back home on their heads. No matter how hard she wished, she couldn't change that reality.

The next morning, they had to start out again. But Gie Gie’s mother tells her when she goes to sleep at night, she sh
Margarita Rodriguez
1.) I want you guys to think a little with me before we start our book. Just keep your thoughts to yourself and really think, but do not say anything out loud. Can you imagine your life without water? Not having it right down the hallway or in your kitchen or bathroom? Not even in water bottles that someone bought? (give them time to think) I know I could not imagine life without having easy access to water, raise your hand if you can't imagine life without water either. (students raise hands) W ...more
Brittany Reese
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
This book best fits the genre of Informational text. It is appropriate for grades k-5, and is very informative for all ages. The book depicts the struggle that billions of people around the world face every day--the lack of access to clean water. The issue is twofold because even if people get to a water source, the water may be dirty or contaminated.

I really loved this book because it allows readers to consider, particularly those fortunate enough to live in developed areas, how easy it is to
Chance Lee
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-it
A beautiful, important book about a young girl in Burkina Faso who must travel with her mother to get water. She wishes water would come easily -- as if you could open a tap in your own home -- but that's not the way it works for her village. She and her mother make the long hard trek to the well and back, stopping at the well to have a little fun and socialize.

The back of the book has information on the Georgie Badiel foundation. Badiel is a model and this story is based on her life. Her found
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aoc, childrens
Princess Gie Gie is a goddess, yet try as she might, she can't bring water to her home. Instead, she has to wake up early with her mother to walk and gather water. I love this story! Gie Gie is a precocious and fun narrator, the illustrations are lovely, and it's a powerful story. Marian accidentally (well, not really accidentally) ripped several pages and I had to read this on my own. Her review will have to wait until she's older. ...more
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A beautiful story that will engage and educate all readers about the true value of water.
This is such a humbling, heart tugging book. The illustrations are beautiful and convey the setting wonderfully. Gie Gie is lovable and can inspire readers to help.
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The artwork is as beautiful as the message being conveyed
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a powerful book to help raise awareness of resources such as clean and clear water that most of us have taken for granted. Using vivid graphics and bold, white fonts against colored background, the book depicts an African girl’s daily life.

Gie Gie, who calls herself the princess of the vast African sky, has to get up very early every morning, carry a pot on top of her head, and walk miles and miles with her mom on barefoot to collect water from a well. While there, they have to wait in lin
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Vondra
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Opening Moves
*Draw attention to the illustrator’s craft
*Lay the groundwork for understanding of diverse setting and people

*Draw attention to the illustrator’s craft
Ask students/patrons if they know what an illustrator is? Discuss authors and illustrators highlighting that sometimes the author is the illustrator and sometimes the illustrator is another person who works together with the author as partners. The illustrator draws the pictures to bring the author’s words to life. Then discuss the au
Emily Keebler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Luczynski
[Show the Book] This book has a little girl and a basket on her head. What do you think the basket is for? [Children Respond] The basket is to go get water for her home. In some places, kids have to walk for hours to get water. Have far do you have to walk to get water? [Children Respond] In the book the little girl lives in Africa. The walk can take all day and they have to do it every day, would you walk for water every day in the heat and cold? [Children respond] Do you know why they need wat ...more
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: state-award
What are the ways that you use water? [allow time for the listening of ways to use water, like to bath or cook or drink] Doesn’t it feel good to have a nice cool glass of water on a hot day? Or to have a warm shower on a cool day? Water is important to everyone’s lives. However, there are places around the world where people must walk miles to get water. One of those places is Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa. This is the place that the story of The Water Princess takes place.
(Invite pers
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Diana Kappel- The Water Princess (African) 1 1 Apr 11, 2020 09:12PM  

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