CELIA AND THE SWEET, SWEET WATER by Katherine Paterson

CELIA AND THE SWEET, SWEET WATER

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Paterson (Parzival, p. 60, etc.) presents an original story with the age-old feel of a classic as she conjures up a brave and good-hearted heroine, a curmugeonly canine companion, and an adventurous journey through—where else?—the deep, dark forest. Celia must trek to her ailing mother’s girlhood village to retrieve the “sweet, sweet water of her childhood” from a well. She sets off with Brumble, her grouchy, worry-wart dog whose disposition is a nice contrast to Celia’s sunny self-confidence. In the forest they happen upon the wild child of the woods, the wretched woman of the water, and the mad man of the mountain, all of whom Celia tames with kindness. She fetches the water, but breaks the flask that holds it during the journey home. Weeping in frustration and sorrow, Celia experiences sadness for the first time, and her tears become the “sweet, sweet water” of her mother’s childhood, curing the woman. Paterson’s storytelling makes this a cut above many happily-ever-after tales, and Vagin’s use of line in his fine paintings matches the story’s style and tone. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1998
ISBN: 0-395-91324-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1998




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