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 morning, she rises before the sun to make the long journey to the well. Instead of a crown, she wears a heavy pot on her head to collect the water. After the voyage home, after boiling the water to drink and clean with, Gie Gie thinks of the trip that tomorrow will bring. And she dreams. She dreams of a day when her village will have cool, crystal-clear water of its own.
Inspired by the childhood of African–born model Georgie Badiel, acclaimed author Susan Verde and award-winning author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds have come together to tell this moving story. As a child in Burkina Faso, Georgie and the other girls in her village had to walk for miles each day to collect water. This vibrant, engaging picture book sheds light on this struggle that continues all over the world today, instilling hope for a future when all children will have access to clean drinking water.
In a stirring, thought-provoking story based on the childhood of model Georgie Badiel in Burkina Faso, Verde and Reynolds follow a girl and her mother as they retrieve water for the family's use. Reynolds (whose previous books with Verde include I Am Yoga and The Museum) uses sumptuous violets and golds for the expansive African night sky and grassy plains both of which young Gie Gie, a self-described princess with a wiry physique and beads in her braided hair, considers to be her domain. Gie Gie claims she can "tame the wild dogs with my song" and "make the wind play hide-and-seek," but summoning clean, readily accessible water is beyond her ability. Verde's poetic language reflects the length and difficulty of Gie Gie and her mother's trek, along with the positive spirit the girl brings to the task. Toward the end, the implicit injustice of the situation is addressed directly: "Maman," Gie Gie asks, "Why is the water so far? Why is the water not clear? Where is our water?" They are questions that readers will want answered, too. Ages 5 8.