The Water-Babies: A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby

By Charles Kingsley
Read by Simon Vance

5.06 Hours 12/01/1998 unabridged
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A classic since its first publication in 1863, The Water-Babies is the story of a little chimney sweep named Tom and his magical adventures beneath the waves. The ill-treated Tom flees his dangerous toil and his cruel master, Grimes. When he jumps into a cool stream to clean the soot off himself, he becomes a water baby, cleaner and happier than he has ever been, in a hidden fairy world. There, Tom meets haughty dragonflies, makes friends with a slow-witted lobster, and dodges hungry otters. Eventually, he meets the other water-babies and their clever rulers, Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid and 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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Summary

Summary

A classic since its first publication in 1863, The Water-Babies is the story of a little chimney sweep named Tom and his magical adventures beneath the waves. The ill-treated Tom flees his dangerous toil and his cruel master, Grimes. When he jumps into a cool stream to clean the soot off himself, he becomes a water baby, cleaner and happier than he has ever been, in a hidden fairy world. There, Tom meets haughty dragonflies, makes friends with a slow-witted lobster, and dodges hungry otters. Eventually, he meets the other water-babies and their clever rulers, Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid and Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby. After a long and arduous quest to the Other-end-of-Nowhere, young Tom achieves his heart’s desire.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The...reader will merely be struck with the flashes of wit and humor which are scattered throughout the book.” Anthropological Review, 1863
“There is no one book in which so many of the distinctive features of Charles Kingsley are combined as in the delightful Water Babies...In it we have his eager sympathy with suffering; his love for little children; his hatred of cruelty and injustice; [and] his intolerance of ignorance.” Library of Literary Criticism of English and American Authors, 1904
“Everyone who has an interest in the exuberant, eclectic, ecological, and erotic aspects of Victorian literature should know this book…[A] delightful and important work of Victorian children’s literature.” Naomi Wood, associate professor of English, Kansas State University

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Charles Kingsley

Charles Kingsley (1819–1875), born in Devonshire, England, was a clergyman, novelist, and poet who began writing when he was five years old. He was much involved in the social reform movements of his time. His best-known works are Westward Ho! and the children’s fantasy The Water Babies.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 5.06
Audience: Children (8–12)
Language: English