The Water Princess

The Water Princess
Written by Susan Verde, Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Publisher’s Summary:
Based on the childhood experience of Georgie Badiel. The story of one young girl’s quest to bring clean drinking water to her African village.

Primary Source Pairing:
The majority of readers in North America have access to clean water with the turn of the faucet. This book shows a different perspective of water access. Gie Gie and her mother travel each day to get water from the shared watering hole. The journey is long but they make the most of it by singing and dancing. Make time to share the Author’s Note with students so they can get a full understanding of the water crisis in Africa. There are also photographs and websites for more information and ways you can help the cause. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study an image of women in Nigeria getting water from a shared faucet. Encourage students to make connections between the story and the photograph.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • What’s happening in the image?
  • Find something small but interesting.
  • What do you notice that you didn’t expect?
  • What do you notice that you can’t explain?
  • Make a connection between Gie Gie’s story and what you see in the photograph.

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
“Young women carrying water from public bore hole” photograph: Created by Abanda bride, available on Wikimedia Commons.

Additional Resources:
Burkina Faso Map: Wikimedia Commons
Georgie Badiel website: